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Sedgwick Juniors hit the ground running
This years VFBV Junior Rural State Championships were held at St Arnaud on 28 and 29 March 2015.
It was at this event that the Sedgwick Fire Brigade were second in the Grand Aggregate with a total of 46 points with Willaura Brigade being named the overall champion team achieving a total of 56 points out of 68 teams who competed.
Sedgwick Team Coach and Junior Brigade Leader, Mr Brendan Drechsler was extremely proud of the juniors who live and breathe for the CFA. Especially for a team that was formed just over 2 years ago this is a tremendous result. He added that “the 11 – 15 year olds being declared state champions in the Tanker - Drawing Water from Tank event and for the team being placed 2nd overall is something I am extremely proud of.”
Being 35 years since there was a Sedgwick competing team, the initial formation was a partnership with Mandurang Fire Brigade, and Mr Drechsler acknowledges the significant contributions made by Graeme Pearce and the Mandurang Fire Brigade over the past 2 years by loaning equipment, training together, sharing knowledge, providing support and giving encouragement every step of the way.”
Mr Drechsler went on to say “that part of the brigade ethos and training was they were taught how to conduct themselves in the discipline event, including walking out in line and exiting in the correct way from the arena.” He added that “on the day of the state championships and off their own bat, the boys approached St Arnaud Brigade members and asked if they could use their equipment to train while other events were being conducted right up until the time they were to compete. Their idea of doing this was to settle their nerves before competing.”
The team was formed in November 2012 after Ben Drechsler, who was 12 at the time, was invited by Graeme Pearce to come and join the Mandurang running team. After 2 training sessions Ben said he thought he could get some mates together to form a Sedgwick team. The first event they entered into was at the 2013 Mandurang Brigade competition. Mr Drechsler commented that “I was wrapped because the way this happened shows initiative and commitment towards our local community.”
Brendan explained that “next we competed in the district championships at Maldon the same year and ran a couple of placing’s. In December 2013 we commenced training with Mandurang again on Sunday mornings, utilising Mandurang’s training trailer.”
Then in 2014 the team went to the CFA District 19 and District 02 championships which were conducted at Maldon where they won two events. Brendan added that “we broke the record in the Tanker Priming and Pumping Event in the 11 – 15 year old category, which gave the boys a confidence boost and they started believing in themselves as they had only been going for 12 months. “
Mr Drechsler added “at the 2014 District 02 championships we won 3 out of 5 events in both the 11 – 13 and 11 – 15 year old categories and were aggregate winners overall for District 02. At the State Championships conducted in Geelong, it was the first time at state level and the team were required to use stainless steel fittings which they found some difficultly adapting to.”
Mandurang won the grand aggregate at the 2014 State Championships. How great was this that the 2 teams that train together were now both the District 02 and state champions in the same year. Mr Drechsler commented that “it was Mandurang’s win that made the team realise they could accomplish a lot with hard work and dedication. This was because Sedgwick had defeated Mandurang at the District Championships the week prior, and then at the state level Mandurang showed us how it was done because they had the fire in their belly and we didn’t!
“As a team we were inspired by family friend and our local butcher, Mr David Dargaville, coach of the Kangaroo Flat Brigade team who won the 2015 State Urban Championships for the third straight year.”
This year prior to the St Arnaud competition, Sedgwick competed in the Region 19 championships in February at Stuart Mill where they won the Aggregate and then went on to compete in the District 16 championships in Ararat in March where they won the Visitors Aggregate. I believed they had the ability and enthusiasm to do so.
Sedgwick’s results from the 2015 State Rural Junior Championships –
- CHAMPION TEAM – 46 points (Second);
- Tanker – Drawing Water from Tank – 11-15 Years – 18.81 seconds (First);
- Tanker – Priming, Pumping & Ladder – 11-13 Years event – 30.99 seconds (Second);
- Hydrant & Tanker – 11-15 Years – 24.17 seconds (Second);
- Tanker – Priming, Pumping & Ladder – 11-15 Years – 25.79 seconds (Third);
- Hydrant & Tanker – 11-13 Years – 30.75 seconds (Fourth);
- 11–13 year old: Daniel Colvin, Sam Drechsler, Liam Jacobs, Max Kelly, Lachlan McGregor;
- 11–15 year old: Joshua Abbott, Ben Drechsler, Angus McGregor, Cailem McGregor;
- Coach: Brendan Drechsler;
Following their successes, the Brigade and team members participated in this year’s Bendigo Easter Fair Torchlight Parade and Gala Procession showcasing their achievements. It was as an entrant of the Torchlight Parade where they were award the Best Fire Brigade Entry.
These results are something to be proud of for a small rural brigade considering the large number of participating teams from throughout Victoria and considering this is Sedgwick Fire Brigades first win at a state level since the Brigade won the Driving and Pumping event at the 1957 State Championships held at Strathfieldsaye.
The flow on effect of this success is that it will assist the Brigade to remain sustainable into the future, and like a number of other brigades the spin-off from this is that 3 of the juniors are now undertaking their minimum skills training to become members of the Senior Brigade. Their achievements may provide other benefits such as Sedgwick forming a senior running team which can be filled in years to come by the juniors who move up through the age categories.
Sedgwick Fire Brigade are now building their own CFA state standard competition trailer. Elliott Bros Bendigo in conjunction with Honda Australia generously provided a Honda motor for the team to use. Once completed the trailer will be shared with Mandurang Fire Brigade and Graeme Pearce and Brendan will be encouraging Axe Creek and other brigades in the Eppalock Fire Brigades Group to form a team and run in competitions as well.
For District Championships to prosper and thrive into the future, Brigades are needed to compete. Mr Drechsler welcomes any local Brigades who are considering forming a team, to contact him as he is only too happy to provide support or assistance to help get them up and running.
Sedgwick Junior running team members –
As a final comment, Mr Drechsler stated “it is not only about winning a medal or trophy; it is about flying the flag for local brigades, the CFA and District 02. This is what holds the community together as well as instilling respect and discipline into the team members that so many people in the world lack today.”