Central Coast Athletes Shine At Development Camp

School uniforms were out and swimmers and goggles were in as a handful of emerging Central Coast surf sport athletes were put through their paces at the annual development camp in Sydney last week.

The Surf Life Saving NSW Junior Development Academy Camp, previously known as the Talented Athlete Program is for athletes aged 12-14 across all eleven branches who have demonstrated potential in any of the water disciplines.

For many of these talented youngsters it is the first time that they have been exposed to a high performance environment, and proving that anything is possible many of the previous graduates have gone on to represent both NSW and Australia in surf sports.

Throughout the three-day program held at the Sydney Academy of Sport on Sydney’s Northern Beaches the athletes participated in training sessions under the eagle eye of top state coaches, attended discussions on nutrition, had their skills and techniques analysed and were introduced to high performance and recovery techniques.

Selection for the camp was highly competitive with the Avoca Beach duo of Fletcher Armstrong and Ellie Richardson joining Terrigal’s Keaton Pollington, Umina’s Leilani Healy and Blake Hessel (Shelly Beach) in what was a very strong Central Coast contingent.

“It’s been really good meeting new people. The best thing was being able to work with Jeff Mowbray as he really helped us with our technique,” Blake Hessel said.

“We worked on finishes and our starts and he showed us the best way to get our feet out of the water when we jump on the board which I’m sure will take me a long way.”

Newport’s Georgia Miller who recently qualified for this year’s professional Iron Woman series dropped by to share some words of wisdom with the athletes, with Leilani Healey finding the talk inspirational.

“It’s been a lot of fun meeting new people and now going back and using these new skills will be really good. It was really inspiring hearing from Georgia Miller and it definitely makes you want to keep training hard,” she said.

Terrigal’s Polkington said the cold weather meant that a hot shower after training was very welcomed while Armstrong and Richardson both said the chance to work with new coaches, learn new techniques and meet new people were some of the many highlights of the camp.

NSW Surf Sports Development Officer Mikaela Mew feels the athlete’s time at the camp will continue to benefit them into the future.

“It was a highly successful and enjoyable camp where the participants gained skills that they can use in their own training when they return to their clubs,” Mrs Mew said.

“What we aim to achieve is to show these kids what it takes to succeed at a high level in surf sport, and it’s exciting to think what they can achieve this season and beyond.”

The class of 2015 included athletes who have already won medals at both the Country and NSW Championships held earlier this year, and with access to this type of specialist training the sky’s the limit for this talented bunch.

2015 Junior Development Academy Central Coast Representatives:

Keaton Pollington – Terrigal SLSC
Ellie Richardson – Avoca Beach SLSC
Fletcher Armstrong – Avoca Beach SLSC
Leilani Healey – Umina SLSC
Blake Hessel – Shelly Beach SLSC

Mon 28 Sep 2015