The NSW State Life Saving Championships will not be at Kingscliff in 2013.
The NSW State Life Saving Championships will not be at Kingscliff in 2013.

Surf champs wave goodbye

KINGSCLIFF will not host the 2013 state lifesaving championships after Surf Life Saving NSW decided not to take up the option for a third year.

However Cudgen Heads Surf Life Saving Club will host the 2012 NSW Surf Life Saving Titles after the success of this year's event, that added about $18 million to the Tweed economy and attracted 20,000 visitors over 10 days of competition.

Surf Life Saving NSW surf sports manager Chris Parker said the association decided to move the event in 2013 after members expressed concern about the amount of travel required for competitions.

The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships will also move from Kurrawa Beach on the Gold Coast and the world championships are heading to South Australia in 2013.

“The national titles will move from Kurrawa that year and we expect them to move to either South Australia or Western Australia,” Mr Parker said.

“And the worlds are on that year in South Australia and whenever the worlds are in Australia it's a huge event.

“Most of our members are in metropolitan areas, so there's just too much travel.

“To be quite frank we do have to listen to the membership – we are relying on their support and we wanted to ease the financial burden to attend these competitions.”

Mr Parker said the carnival had been a success this year and the decision had not been made because of past events or the erosion problem.

Cudgen Surf Life Saving Club state titles committee member Lyndel Small said it was not a shock decision, admitting logistics and cost were always an issue.

“It's self-funded. Clubs have to fundraise to send competitors to these events,” Ms Small said.

“We were highly commended for last year's event, this decision is more about travelling for the metro and southern clubs.”

Ms Small said the committee was expecting a bigger carnival in 2012.

“A lot of the clubs that could only send a small number of competitors saw the facilities and what we had to offer. They went back to their clubs and decided to bring all their competitors next year,” Ms Small said. “They have told us that if no other council takes it up then we will definitely be considered.”

The chance of Kingscliff hosting the state titles in 2013 is unlikely, with strong competition whenever the event is put to tender.

“The tender process will be the same as previous ones and sent to all councils. Last time there were quite a few applications,” Mr Parker said.

Tweed Shire Council Mayor Kevin Skinner said he was disappointed at losing the event. “I am disappointed, obviously, but I understand that they like to hold it in different regions,” Cr Skinner said. “Hopefully we would be reconsidered in the future.

“I don't know exactly what it brought to the region, but all the accommodation houses were full.”

Cr Skinner said the council expected a successful 2012 carnival.

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