Narooma Athlete Opens Up On Season Goals

It is fair to say that last season was a mixed bag for Narooma’s Joe Halsey. The talented beach runner was coming off a triple gold medal effort at the 2015 NSW Country Championships at Mollymook, became a nominee for NSW Surf Sports Athlete of the Year, and also endured a frustrating injury.

By Billy Brown

The keen surf lifesaver became hooked on the sport ever since he first laid eyes on the beach and ocean as a young Nipper. Over the years he’s become not only a fine athlete, but a highly respected and valued club member.

It is a view shared by the club executive.

"Joe is a very dedicated focused young man, he is a fantastic role model for the Nippers and he goes about things in and around the club in a really good manner,” said Narooma SLSC President Ben Bate.

“He is just a brilliant person to be around and we are very fortunate to have him at the club.”

A passionate and highly skilled beach competitor in 2015 Joe Halsey took gold in the U19 Beach Flag, Beach Sprint, and 2 Kilometre Beach Run at the Country Championships.

He was hopeful of repeating these efforts at Country in 2016 but unfortunately missed the event due to injury. He later recovered for the State Titles where he was able to make the final.

This week, Surf Life Saving NSW caught up with Halsey to talk about his recovery from injury, his training and his goals for the season ahead.

How did you originally get started in lifesaving?

My parents were the people who originally got me into Surf Life Saving through Nippers. They wanted me to learn some water safety and got me down at the beach learning about water safety. I was an active kid when I was younger and loved the beach and the ocean. After heading down to the beach for the first time I was instantly hooked, and my involvement in the sport snowballed from then until I got to where I am today.

How is your training for the new season going?

Training this season is going well. I am training as hard as I ever have and am extremely keen for the new season to begin shortly. It’s also been really good to get back into training after the injury lay-off.

How are you recovering from your injury?

I suffered the injury at the end of last season which was a blow but these things happen in our sport and you have got to get on with it. The recovery from the injury is coming on really well. I made sure I had a long recovery period and I really rested up during the winter which was nice. Now I am at the point where I’ve built my fitness back up I am and itching for the new season to get underway.

What are your favourite events?

I like all the events and the variety of events in Surf Life Saving is what makes it such a good sport to be a part of. The events I enjoy the most are probably Beach Sprints, Beach Flags and the 2 Kilometre Beach Run.

Do you feel that competing for a Far South Coast club effects your performance given you don’t always have the opportunity of regular racing that other clubs have?

Yes living in an area like Narooma compared to somewhere on Sydney’s Northern Beaches like Newport definitely is a disadvantage. In our branch we normally only get to compete once or twice a month where if you are based at a Sydney or Sydney Northern Beaches club you get the chance to race nearly every weekend which a great way to fine tune your skills. Another disadvantage can be the travel times it does take a while to get to places and competitions for our athletes in the south.

What goals do you have for the season ahead?

This season I really want to perform to the best of my ability at the State Championships. (To be held at Swansea Belmont in March 2017.) I also want to have a red hot crack at trying to win a few medals at the Australian Championships as well.

Photograph - Jo Halsey in action

Wed 21 Sep 2016