You can hear the cheers of support from the outskirts of the Kingston Showgrounds.
Family, friends and Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers are heard in short bursts between the muffled voice on the PA.
Yesterday, the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) District 15 Annual Championships returned to Kingston Showgrounds to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition.
On the field, kids and adults in bright t-shirts sprinted across the dry yellow oval, grabbed a fire hose, dashed up a ladder and squirted water at a target.
Off the field were the families, huddled in coats and blankets to keep the autumn breeze at bay.
District 15 Championship Committee secretary Peter Loader said it was fitting to hold this year’s championships at Kingston.
“The first one was held here on April 16 in 1955,” Mr Loader said.
The games encourage teamwork among the district volunteers.
About 120 senior and junior competitors from brigades around Ballarat took part, including four from visiting communities.
District 15 volunteers from the Ascot, Elaine, Miners Rest, Napoleons-Enfield, Mount Buninyong and Smeaton brigades competed against visiting teams from King Lake West, Leopold, Dunrobin and Hurstbridge.
Last year, Napoleons-Enfield Fire Brigade team A took home the title.
This year marks Smeaton Rural Fire Brigade’s first time at the event. Smeaton Fire Brigade competition trainer Glenda Trigg said the kids had been practising for the past few weeks.
“It’s a great team-building exercise. They (have) to work out what they are doing on the day together,” Ms Trigg said.
Ms Trigg said the competition helped build relationships among the children in Smeaton, who recently had their primary school closed down.