The 1960s in Spearfishing history pretty much marked even bigger and more profound competitions, including the first Interstate.
The First Championship on the South Coast
Before now, spearfishing was much more common in some parts of the country. Competitions, events, and other activities were concentrated in a part of the country, or it seemed so. However, the 1964 Wollongong Carnival changed all of that as we started seeing major moves of spearfishing sporting activity to other parts of the country.
The geographical shift was, however, not the only thing that this particular championship symbolised. One other remarkable factor here was that it showed the rise of clubs in spearfishing. Spearfishing in Australia had matured so much that it had become an entire industry.
This is typified in the rise of clubs. It was not the case anymore that individuals will apply for and go to competitions on their own. Now, the case was more a club with several members going for competitions.
Finally, by far, the most important significance held by this competition was in the diversity introduced. Before that particular competition, spearfishing was largely seen as a “male sport.” However, that competition largely contributed to changing that perception for good.
This is because the competition was separated into male and female categories. This was enough to prove that spearfishing was a female sport as much as it was male. In each gender category, participants were further divided into senior and junior categories. This was to ensure many things:
To Discover Talents
The competition served as one of the best places to discover aspiring talent in the spearfishing space.
To Nurture Talent
Another critical role that the championship had on the spearfishing industry regarding junior participation is that these junior talents can get superior training.
Held on March 14th, the competition was a part of the Carnival of Sports, the third of its kind. It was held annually in Greater Wollongong City.
The prizes at this particular event were much different from what you would have expected to get from a competition of such sorts. Ideally, you would expect winners to be awarded metal cups. However, the organisers of the Wollongong Championship were quite dramatic as they awarded electronics of various kinds to the winners. This ranges from lamps to television sets and electric frypans.
Government Bans Scuba Fishing
The government furthered its conservation drive when it banned scuba fishing gear in spearfishing in June 1969. The only time scuba gear was to be allowed was in fishing the fish species known as abalone.
First Interstate Competition
Although the number of competitions in spearfishing was increasing, there was still more to be done. Till this time, what were existing were local city or, at best, state-level competitions. Interstate Competitions did not exist.
But that changed with the first competition between Victoria and New South Wales. The competition featured more than 200 spearfishers spread across large bodies of water. The competition had the support of several companies and Institutions.