After three state titles in consecutive years across three different age groups, the most recent coming on the final full day of competition of the weather-affected 2022 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships in February, the Female Board Relay team of Isabella Arghyros, Charli Mills and Jarrah Onley from Cudgen Headland have their eyes set on Aussies success when they make the jump up into U13s next year.
12 months out from their first crack at the national titles, the now U12 competitors bested all before them with a scintillating performance in Manly at state level, navigating tricky conditions and the weight of expectations to finish first across the line in the final event of the Age Championships.
“It felt pretty good to win the relay,” Isabella said.
“Yeah, we were very happy and excited,” Charli said.
“Conditions out there were a bit tough, but we were very lucky,” Jarrah continued.
“We went to the left a bit because there was a sand bank.”
“It created a tiny little gap you could squeeze through,” Charli added.
“We didn’t come thinking we’re going to win, the conditions could have been anything so anything could have happened,” said Isabella.
Ever since, even after taking a couple of weeks off, one eye rests on Aussies next year and indeed, and incredible fourth straight state title as the perfect entree.
The girls made the short trip across the border to the Gold Coast for the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships – in part to catch up, but equally as a chance to see what it takes at the highest level.
Cudgen Headland Director of Surf Sports, Adam Mills – also the father of Charli – said the girls had a unique request as reward for winning each of their three state titles, and hopes that, should they replicate their success at Aussies, the reward doesn’t grow too big.
“The first year it was ice cream, which was okay,” he said with a laugh.
“The second they had their nails done, and then the third – the most recent win – they asked for doughnuts.
“It’s nice that they like the little things.”
As junior athletes at one of the state’s premier non-metro clubs, the girls all understand that they play an important role in the development of future surf sport stars. While they can’t yet do their SRC, they will all take part next year when they are able and will continue to grow within the club.
“They recognise that they can get involved and act as mentors to the younger kids,” Adam said.
“All the parents are heavily involved so the girls are around the club all the time. They’re as active as they can be and are very helpful.
“They’re excited heading into their 13-year age bracket season to move into a more senior role.”
Friday 8 April 2022