Bronte Olympian Hits the Surf

Jarrod Poort is a name you may not be familiar with in Surf Life Saving circles, however that could change after this weekend’s NSW Surf Life Saving Championships where the young Olympian will be competing for Bronte SLSC.

The open water specialist swimmer made his Olympic debut in London 2012 in the 1500m and finished 18th out of 31 athletes, which is an amazing effort for a 17 year-old who was in his final year of high school at the time.

“It’s been a tough, tricky road but it’s all coming along well. We had our first section event last month at our nationals in Mooloolaba, where I ended up winning and getting selected to go to Portugal alongside another fellow Aussie later in June,” the two-time Olympic hopeful said.

“We will both race off for the one available spot for an Australian to go to Rio for the 10km Open Water Swim - it’s going to be tough.”

But for now, the 21 year-old will be donning the Bronte cap for the third time as he takes to the Ocean Beach-Umina waters for the NSW Open Championships. Despite only joining the Sydney surf life saving club last year, Jarrod will be a key part of the club’s Opens team.

Continued pressure by one of his mates led the youngster to finally join Bronte SLSC after many years of procrastination. Thanks to his friend Wally Eggleton and the club he has never doubted his decision.

Heading into State Championships, Jarrod doesn’t know what to expect as he has rarely raced in a team or had to deal with waves during a swim event.

“One of the biggest things for me is that surf life saving had been something different and super fun and I don’t want to take it as seriously as my other swimming, I just want to have fun, meet people and learn,” Jarrod Poort said.

“But don’t get me wrong, when I am standing on the start line of the Swim or Taplin race and have that blue and yellow cap on, and the awesome group of guys from the club are standing around me, the race is on and I’ll be doing everything I can for the club!

“Racing in a six- man team event such as the Taplin is epic, and it’s one of the best things I’ve done in Surf Life Saving so far. It’s something special, you’re not just racing for yourself but for your team and your mates. Every decision you take in the race impacts on every man in that team and you all share in the emotions of a good or bad result,” he said.

Jarrod will be lining up for the Surf Races, Rescue Tube Rescue, Taplin Relay, Surf Belt and the Open Mixed Ocean Swim.

The 2016 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships is proudly supported by ClubsNSW.

Photo: Jarrod Poort (far left) with the Bronte SLSC Open Male Taplin Team at the Summer of Surf at Freshwater earlier in 2016.

Thu 10 Mar 2016