Illawarra Talent Ready for State Junior Titles at Home

Published on 30/06/2023

Maroubra Beach, Friday 28th June: Over 200 of NSW top junior surfers will attend the 2023 Woolworths Junior State Titles presented by Ocean & Earth (13-18 July) and the NSW High School Titles (19-20 July) in Wollongong | Dharawal Country. The growing group of talented locals are looking forward to taking on the visitors.

Entries for the opening rounds of the Under 16 and Under 18 Boys and Girls divisions are open but limited. Winners of these rounds will come up against the 11 Ocean and Earth Regional Title winners who receive direct seeding entry into round three, setting the stage for intense competition.

Wollongong, Dharawal Country lies between the Illawarra escarpment and the sea, and is one of New South Wales’ largest cities.

It’s home to some of Australia’s top boardrider clubs and a rising tide of talented athletes including Scarborough who came in second place at the 2022 Australian Boardriders Battle.

The region also offers impressive school sports programs that support surfers’ pathways to the elite level. As a result the Illawarra Grammar and Illawarra Sports High teams have dominated the NSW High Schools Titles in recent years.

Illawarra’s Regional Titles qualifiers, and those to look out for in the Under 18’s division are; Jarvie Robson (Sandon Point Boardriders), who scored a near-perfect 9.7 in the finals and Shyla Short (Scarborough Boardriders) who has had a stellar junior career so far and is looking to win her first State Title at home in 2023.

While in the Under 16’s, Taj Air (Sandon Point Boardriders) who is part of the Junior High Performance Program and Macey Jolley (Scarborough Boardriders) will make their debut in the Junior Titles.

Proud Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbury said he can’t wait to see the hometown athletes perform in their backyard.

“Wollongong is home to world-class waves and an amazing surfing community that has seen the rise of some of the best junior surfers and club teams in the last few years.

“llawarra surfers are highly represented in the High Schools Challenge and Surfing NSW Junior High Performance Program with great support from their local clubs.

“We are proud of our junior surfers and can’t wait to see them compete in Wollongong for the Junior State Championships this July,” said Lord Mayor Bradbury.

Luke Madden, Surfing NSW CEO, said he loves seeing the best junior surfers in the state compete in the event each year.

“The Woolworths NSW Junior State Titles is undeniably one of the premier events on the Surfing NSW calendar. We extend our gratitude to Destination Wollongong for their exceptional hospitality over the past two years and eagerly anticipate the incredible experiences this year’s event has in store.”

It’s not just the locals looking forward to the event. Athletes are travelling from the far north through to the far south coast to compete.

“Wollongong is one of my favourite places to visit. The surf is so good and the beaches are so nice,” said Milla Brown (Bungan Boardriders) who is aiming to win her third straight State Title.

Sol Gruendling (North Steyne Boardriders) is also looking forward to the roadtrip south.

“Wollongong rocks!” said Gruendling. “Awesome waves, very fun reef breaks and endless adventure. I’m very excited to compete in Wollongong again and I’m hoping to better my second place last year with a win this year,” he said.

The Junior State Titles has a rich history, with past participants including current World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) surfers such as Tyler Wright, Molly Picklum, Sally Fitzgibbons, Connor O’Leary, and the remarkable Olympic Bronze medalist Owen Wright.

As a mobile event, organisers have the opportunity to pick the surf break with the best potential for the day in Wollongong including; Thirroul, Wonoona, Bellambi, Wollongong, Bulli, Stanwell Park, and Sandon Point.

Daily schedules and venue information is confirmed via the NSW Junior Messaging line, ensuring participants and enthusiasts stay updated on the latest developments.

For more information about the activities and where to stay, visit Destination Wollongong Website Here .

The Woolworths NSW Junior Titles pres. by Ocean and Earth is made possible thanks to Woolworths, Destination Wollongong, Wollongong City Council, Ocean and Earth, Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort and Surfing NSW.

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