Life’s A Beach For Talented Runners

Usain Bolt might be nearing retirement but the journey for the next generation of Australian beach athletes is just beginning as they were put through their paces at a special training clinic in Newport last weekend.

Over 25 athletes who excel in the beach disciplines of sprinting and flags made the trip with participants coming from as far as field as Cabarita and Bellambi to take part in Sunday’s course.

Many of those in attendance already boast impressive resumes with Branch, State, and even Australian champions counted among their number.

During the program the athletes did drills on the beach where they had their techniques analysed, were shown some exercises to incorporate into their gym training , attended a talk by a sports scientist, and worked on building pure speed in a sprint session on the athletics track in Narrabeen.

Casting a watchful eye over proceedings were highly experienced coaches Martin Lynch (Australian Beach Sprinting Coach), Michael Gedz, and Dan Grbac.

Martin’s son Jake Lynch, a member of the Australian team that contested the World Lifesaving Championships, and an international medallist himself, was on hand to share his knowledge and took the program participants through a gym session.

“Our coaches assisted the athletes on their technique in both sprints and beach flags, as well as assisting them in any of their specific needs, and one valuable lesson that I hope I was able to pass on is that Work equals success,” said Martin Lynch.

Over the years he has spent coaching beach athletes, Lynch is in a good position to judge what separates the good from the elite. He believes the sport is in reasonably good shape but more work is needed to ensure that the junior athletes aren’t discouraged and continue to compete in their senior years.

“As well as a predisposition to sprinting, a good beach athlete requires technique, strength and a desire to put in the necessary training. Enjoyment of the sport is also very important.

“Many of our top athletes and our emerging athletes are extremely gifted and work hard, but I feel we need to support and encourage the development of the younger athletes coming through nippers into the senior ranks,” he said.

Newport’s Toby Newey was just one of the many athletes who found the program beneficial ahead of another busy summer.

“From the gym session I learned a lot about the different kind of stretches and the importance of maintaining your body,” the 14-year-old said.

“This season my main aim would like to defend my Aussie Title and finish in the top 3 in the Flags. I finished 4th last year so I like to think I can improve on that. We’re also trying to get together a beach relay team so I’ll be doing a lot of training to prepare.”

2016 Beach Development Clinic Athletes

Mitch Bell - Woonona SLSC
Josh Tyrrell - Freshwater SLSC
Ethan Cradock - Freshwater SLSC
Brandon Morkos - Bellambi SLSC
Kate Hawkings - Cronulla SLSC
Isabellah Walker - Cronulla SLSC
Jessi Elliott - Cronulla SLSC
Chloe Mannix-Power - Cronulla SLSC
Madeleine Wallace - Collaroy SLSC
Aidan Mulder - Cooks Hill SLSC
Nicole Krite - South Maroubra SLSC
Mahli Borham - Ballina Lighthouse & Lismore SLSC
Elizabeth Halsey -Narooma SLSC
Claudia Crawford - Cabarita Beach SLSC
Ella Randazzo - Elouera SLSC
Joseph Halsey - Narooma SLSC
Holly Abbey - Nowra-Culburra SLSC
Leilani Healey - Umina SLSC
Brad Hunt - Byron Bay SLSC
April Druery - Elouera SLSC Alicia Williams - Forster SLSC
Abbey Gainsford - Newport SLSC
Jett Van der Wallen - Newport SLSC
Bethany Pate - Newport SLSC
Lily Masters - Newport SLSC
Reuben Sharma - Newport SLSC
Ben May - Newport SLSC
Jonathon Allan - Newport SLSC
Toby Newey - Newport SLSC


Martin Lynch - Newport SLSC
Jake Lynch - Newport SLSC
Michael Gedz - Queenscliff SLSC
Dan Grbac - Newport SLSC

Photograph -Toby Newey (Newport SLSC) celebrates his gold medal at the NSW State Championships in March 2016

Wed 30 Nov 2016