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Lifesaving icon inspires nippers

Pictured with Karla Gilbert are Stephanie Cormack, Maddison Buchanan, Jessica Elkington and Tiah Sharp.
Pictured with Karla Gilbert are Stephanie Cormack, Maddison Buchanan, Jessica Elkington and Tiah Sharp. Tweed Daily News

IT was a special day for the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club juniors who gathered at Greenmount Beach on Sunday to receive their Point Danger Branch carnival medals from legendary former world and Australian ironwoman champion Karla Gilbert.

Gilbert's illustrious career began in nippers at Palm Beach when she was just five back in 1980. So what better inspiration for a new generation of up and coming stars?

Pictured proudly displaying their haul of medals with Gilbert are the TH and C girls' under-12 team - Stephanie Cormack, Maddison Buchanan, Jessica Elkington and Tiah Sharpe - who dominated the branch titles in their age.

After a strong showing at the branch titles, Tweed Heads and Coolangatta officials are hoping their contingent can continue that success at the Queensland titles at Mooloolaba starting on Friday.

A squad of 37 will head to the Sunshine Coast tomorrow to test their abilities against the best nippers in the state, and club officials are quietly confident the local youngsters will be bringing home even more medals.