Country Champs Profile: Bree Hlis

With just one more sleep until the 2016 Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships get underway tomorrow it is time to get to know the athletes looking to write their name into the annals of the history of this longstanding and popular event.

Bree Hlis took to water very early in life – so early in fact that she learned to swim before she could even walk and it is a skill that has served her well over the ensuring years.

The 10-year-old Warilla –Barrack Point member is enjoying plenty of success at a club and branch level and is hoping to continue her good run of form when she hits the waves at South West Rocks.

At her last two branch championships she has won a combined total of 10 medals and also won a silver medal at the 2015 State Championships. She’s also a pretty handy competitor in the pool as well being crowned age champion at her school for three consecutive years.

Hailing from a club that has produced a roll call of champion surf athletes, the youngster doesn’t have to look very far to see what is possible with hard work, luck and dedication. As a passionate competitor she loves pulling on the colours of Warilla-Barrack Point.

She cites champion Iroman Ali Day as an inspiration and is even coached by his dad. She is also a huge fan of Ironwoman Jordan Mercer and recently had the chance to meet her.

One thing is for certain, Bree Hlis has a talent that is very much on the rise.


Bree Hlis


Warilla Barrack Point

Age Group:


Events you are planning to contest:

Swim, Iron Woman, Board, Swim Teams, Board Relay, Board Rescue, and Cameron Relay.

Previous appearances or results at Country Champs or other major events:

2015 – South Coast Branch Champs – 6 Medals
2015 – South Coast Branch - Female 8 -10 Competitor
2015 – Country Championships – 2nd in mixed Surf Team
2015 – NSW State Championships 2nd U/10 Female Surf Race
2015 – Junior Champion for Warilla Barrack Point Surf Club
I have been my age champion every year since U8
2016 – Wanda Surf Carnival – 6th U11 Surf Race 2016 – South Coast Branch Champs – 1st Swim, 1st Iron woman, 1st Swim team, 2nd flags, 5th Board, 5th all age Board relay
2016 – Illawarra Development Carnival Sandon Point – 1st Swim, 1st Swim Team, and 7th overall in Sprint
School Swimming Champion 2013 to 2015

How long have you been involved in surf lifesaving?

Since I was 5. My Parents taught me how to swim before I could walk.

What do you enjoy most about being a member of a surf lifesaving club?

I enjoy being in the ocean, I love the sand under my feet. I have made a lot of great friends from the surf club so I enjoy seeing and training with them every day. I also love spending time with my Coaches Kirk Allen, Damien Sheedy, and Ross Day and spending time being around the senior athletes.

How has your training been going for the Country Championships?

Training on the beach at the moment has been going really well, I try my best never to miss a training session. Training is fun for me so I love going. I also get up at 5.30am 3 mornings a week for pool training, this can be hard at times but I’m ok once I get there. We have all been training so hard so I am hoping it will all pay off at Country Champs.

What are your goals for the Championships and the rest of the season?

For Country I would like to medal in my water events. As for the rest of the season I would like to defend my U/10 branch title. I won a silver medal at State last year in my swim so I am hoping I can do just as well or better at State this year. I hope to continue to do my club and coaches proud.

Do you have any pre-event superstitions or preparations?

I try to only do light training in the week leading up to Country Champs. I also eat plenty of french toast for breakfast. I enjoy the fun day my club hosts a few days before we all leave to go to Country Champs.

What are you most looking forward to about Country Championships?

I’m looking forward to staying in the same Caravan Park as my best surf club buddy, spending time with my mum as she is at work all the time and most of all having this fantastic opportunity to represent my club, Warilla Barrack Point.

Are there any surf athletes you admire or have found to be an inspiration and why? Ali Day I have to say is my favourite athlete of all time. I have met Ali a couple of times and he is always so nice to me. I am so lucky to have his dad Ross as one of my coaches. I also love Jordan Mercer, she is a great role model and when I met her she was also so lovely to me and wished me all the best in becoming an IronWoman.

Fri 5 Feb 2016