Hunter surfers ride onto the podium at NSW Junior State Surfing Titles in Coffs Harbour

WINNER: Mike Clayton-Brown rides a wave during the NSW Junior State Surfing Titles at Coffs Harbour, where he won the under-16 boys. Picture: Ethan Smith/NSW Surfing
WINNER: Mike Clayton-Brown rides a wave during the NSW Junior State Surfing Titles at Coffs Harbour, where he won the under-16 boys. Picture: Ethan Smith/NSW Surfing

THREE Hunter surfers claimed podium finishes at the NSW Junior State Surfing Titles last week, including an under-16 boys title win by Merewether Boardriders surfer Mike Clayton-Brown.

Held in Coffs Harbour, the state titles had 136 of the best junior surfers in NSW compete across four divisions; under-16’s and under-18’s for both boys and girls. 

Entry to the event was gained through qualification in Surfing NSW’s regional titles earlier this year.

Clayton-Brown was joined on the under-16 boys podium at Coffs Harbour by Frenchmans Boardriders surfer Jordan Liackman, who finished third. 

Fellow Merewether surfer Madison Poole came third in the under-18 girls.

The results qualified Clayton-Brown, Poole and Liackman for the Australian Junior Surfing Titles, to be held at Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia on December 1-8. 

The NSW School Surfing Titles were held concurrently at Coffs Harbour with Mike Clayton-Brown finishing second in the under-16 boys.

Ellie Clayton-Brown came second in the under-19 girls and will join her brother in the NSW side for the School Sport Australia Surfing Championships, which will be held at the same time as the Australian Junior Surfing Titles in December. 

GROMMET TITLES

Still with surfing and the NSW Grommet State Titles were held at Maroubra in Sydney at the weekend.

Several surfers from the Hunter competed at the event, but it was Jimmi Hill from Boat Harbour who had the best result finishing second in the under-12 boys. 

Ocean Lancaster of Merewether Boardriders made the semi-finals of the under-12 boys division in a commendable result. 

REFEREES WEEK

Referees make sport possible and Northern NSW Football last week celebrated Referee Recognition Week, which allows the football community to show its appreciation of match officials and demonstrate they are valued members who are respected by all.

Verity Norris, 18, was introduced to officiating by her referee father, who was one day short of two linesman.

Verity and her sister, Maxine, were handed a flag and a refereeing career began.

“From that moment onwards, our dad conditioned us and taught us all about the game,” Verity said. “It was only the start of the season so Maxine and I registered alongside our dad and we became the Norris trio.” 

The family now often officiates games together and Verity has climbed the ranks to referee National Premier Leagues first grade matches and even a W-League trial. 

“I’d encourage anyone to referee, females even more so because it’s a male dominated sport and it’d be great to see more women in football,” Verity said.