POPPIT Sands Surf Lifesaving Club are celebrating the biggest result in their 42-year history after their 33-strong Nipper team finished second overall in the Welsh Championships at Aberavon.

The event - organised by the Surf Lifesaving Association of Wales - drew 400 competitors, aged 7-13, from 11 clubs across the country.

And volunteer-run Poppit Sands SC, competing in both Beach and Ocean events, seized a record haul of nine golds, 16 silvers and nine bronze medals.

This gave them the runners-up spot despite being pitted against much larger clubs. The result was the club’s best since their formation in 1980.

Commenting on their fine showing, vice-chair Andrew Thomas said: “This is the best result in the history of our club – runners-up in Wales and ahead of some of the biggest clubs in Wales.

“Our Nippers were a shining example of what this sport is all about and are the future guardians of our beaches.

“They showed true sportsmanship and commitment and made us all proud.”

Nipper team manager Elin Rees was similarly delighted. “Every single competitor won points, which gave us this amazing result,” she said.

“We are so very proud of every member of the team.”

Secretary Liwsi Harries said: “The children were all incredibly supportive of each other - cheering each other on and sharing in each other’s success.”

The club’s Nippers and Juniors meet on a weekly basis to learn how to stay safe on the beach and in the ocean, as well as valuable lifesaving skills, identifying hazards, practising board skills and rescues, first aid procedures and how to use equipment correctly.