Juniors mix it with big guns

February 28, 2018

Echuca Junior Fire Brigade team members coach Makayla O’Callaghan, Jordan Simpson, Leyton Shenfield, Daniel Phyland, Georgia O’Callaghan and Georgia Barnes.

Georgia Barnes runs with Rochester in the four man Y

Leyton Shenfield with his medal and plaque received by chief officer Steve Warrington

The Echuca team doing the four man Y

Layton Shenfield before his hydrant race

ECHUCA Junior Fire Brigade have put forward an incredibly strong showing at the weekend’s Junior State Championships in Warrnambool.

With one of the smallest teams at the championships, fielding just five team members, the junior firefighters came home with two placings within the top 10 of the state.

They finished 20th out of more than 60 teams in the aggregate.

“I tell my juniors that I want them to go out, put their best time on the board and have fun and that’s what they did,” coach Makayla O’Callaghan said.

Georgia O’Callaghan and Jordan Simpson placed eighth in their two-man ‘Y’ on Saturday, an outstanding achievement for two competitors who had never run together in a state titles.

It was also an exciting weekend for Leyton Shenfield who placed third in the under 17 hydrant race.

“It’s Leyton’s last year as a junior competitor so it was very rewarding to see his hard work pay off,” Ms O’Callaghan said.

“I’m not sure who was more excited out of Leyton and I when the placings were announced.”

Over the weekend, members teamed up with neighbouring brigade Rochester in order to keep more teams on the track.

“It is great to see kids coming together and making friendships with people from across the state — it brings a real sense of community.”

O’CALLAGHAN, who has previously competed and is now coaching the sport, said it’s sad to see interest in the sport dying.

‘‘It is not your average sport like football and netball,’’ she said.

‘‘It doesn’t require the best sportsmen, it requires people who are able to work in a team.’’

O’Callaghan was ecstatic with the performance of her team.

‘‘This weekend the Echuca juniors showed they could do exactly what they have trained for.

‘‘The skills learnt during competition and training are basic fire-fighting skills. We hope these juniors will continue on into senior ranks and become future fire-fighters.’’

Echuca Junior Fire Brigade is hoping to attract more 11-17 year olds for next season, which will begin in September.

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