Illawarra Surf Lifesavers Among State’s Best

A talented group of emerging surf athletes from across the Illawarra traded books for swimmers and goggles at an annual state-wide camp in Sydney last week.

Bulli Surf Life Saving Club had three representatives while Austinmer and Thirroul also had athletes selected for the intensive three-day camp.

The Surf Life Saving NSW Junior Development Academy Camp, previously known as the Talented Athlete Program Camp, 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.

“The camp has been really positive and it’s been great to meet new friends as well as learn new skills. I’m sure I will see a lot of these people at carnivals and it’s really good that I know them now,” said Bulli’s Jasmine Locke.

“It was really interesting working hard on the technical side and focusing on my core strength. It’s not the first time that I’ve done some of these strength exercises, but it’s great to be able to learn them properly from experts.”

Bulli club mates Bronte Sweeney and Holly Holmesby both said it was a great opportunity to work on their skills.

With Illawarra athletes often having to travel to competitions Lucas Ottaway and Darci Air enjoyed the chance to get to know their competitors.

“It was a really fun camp and we got to do a lot of different training and other activities such as high ropes. One of the other good things was being able to make friends with people from other Branches which I enjoyed,” Ottaway said.

NSW 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 Illawarra Representatives:

Darci Air – Thirroul SLSC
Holly Holmesby – Bulli SLSC
Bronte Sweeney – Bulli SLSC
Jasmine Locke – Bulli SLSC
Lucas Ottaway – Austinmer SLSC

Mon 28 Sep 2015