Marikki crowned state?s best
By ADAM WRATTEN
MARIKKI Watego has ensured her name is etched in the history books at Cudgen Headland Surf Lifesaving Club after the talented teenager was crowned NSW Junior Lifesaver of the Year.
The 14-year-old was handed the prestigious award after impressing judges at the NSW Surf Lifesaving Championships at the weekend with her sporting abilities and club and community involvement
"I was really surprised to win," said Watego, who represented the Far North Coast branch at the championships at Umina, on the south coast.
Watego is believed to be the Cudgen club's first representative to claim the prestigious honour in more than 40 years of competition.
A student at Kingscliff High School, Watego picked up a bronze medal in the cameron relay at the championships. She also finished ninth in her board event.
Her efforts complemented a successful season where she won the under-14 board race at the NSW interbranch carnival.
But it was not just in the surf and on the beach where she excelled.
"My parents wanted our family to join nippers because we lived so close to the beach, they felt it was important to learn about the surf," Watego said. "I love being a part of surf lifesaving."
Cudgen Headland narrowly missed out on winning the Country Shield at the championships, finishing second behind Warilla-Barrack Point.
There were several top performances from Cudgen competitors including those of Ben James, Ryan Andrew and Annabell Nance and the under-14 boys board relay team and under-11 girls board relay team who were all among the medals.