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While their peers relaxed during the final weekend of the October school holidays, a group of the state’s most promising ocean competitors traded books for swimsuits at an intensive camp designed to improve their skills while giving them an early insight into the reality of life for an elite surf sport athlete.

Forty-three teenage athletes aged between 12 and 14 from across NSW gathered at Sydney’s Academy of Sport on the Northern Beaches last week for a this year’s development program for young talents who have demonstrated an aptitude for any of the water disciplines contested at a surf sport event.

It is the first time that many of these youngsters have been exposed to a high performance environment though many of them have already enjoyed success at the NSW Country and State Championships in their fledging careers.

Throughout the three-day program that was held at the Sydney Academy of Sport on Sydney’s Northern Beaches the athletes participated in training sessions under the eagle eye of some of the best surf sports coaches going around, attended discussions on nutrition, had their skills and techniques analysed and were introduced to high performance and recovery techniques.

Additionally some of the lectures were delivered by guest speakers with their own background in competitive sport providing an intriguing backdrop. Mark Webster from Winning Edge spoke about the importance of sport psychology on performance, while London Olympian kayaker Jo Brigden- Jones delivered a lesson on goal setting.

“I found the nutrition and mindset components really interesting and I will definitely be implementing a few of the ideas I picked up from these sessions back home as well as core strength and conditioning,” said Hayley Fischer from Sawtell SLSC.

“One of my other highlights from the program would also have to be getting to know all the other athletes at the Junior Development Academy.

Surf Life Saving NSW Development Officer Tim Piper said introducing these youngsters to a high performance environment will accelerate their development as they look to make their mark on surf sport.

“It’s been a really positive experience to introduce these young athletes to this type of environment and to see them make friends with their age group rivals,” he said.

“One of our plans in recent seasons has been to streamline the development path from junior prospect to the state team and it’s great that we had our senior coach Jim Walker conduct a session.

“I’m looking forward to seeing this group’s results both this summer and beyond. The athletes certainly got a lot out of this program,” Mr Piper concluded.

2017 Junior Development Academy Participants

Far North Coast

• Oliver Sharpe - (Lennox Head SLSC)

• Kalani Ives - (Yamba SLSC)

• Lily O’Sullivan - (Cudgen Headland SLSC)

• Maalik Moston - (Lennox Head SLSC)

North Coast

• Hayley Fischer - (Sawtell SLSC)

• Margaret McConnachie - (Sawtell SLSC)

• Patrick Carey - (Sawtell SLSC)

• Orlaith Carey - (Sawtell SLSC)

Mid North Coast

• Georgia Gaddes - (South West Rocks SLSC)

• Aneeka Reilly - (South West Rocks SLSC)

Lower North Coast

• Xavier Robertson-Reynolds - (Cape Hawke SLSC)

• Harrison Ward - (Cape Hawke SLSC)

• Abby Mulligan - (Cape Hawke SLSC)

• Braydan Lee - (Forster SLSC)


• Kurt Murphy – (Swansea Belmont SLSC)

• Brady Stewart – (Fingal Beach SLSC)

• Sophia McMahon - (Cooks Hill SLSC)

• Lily Forbes – (Cooks Hill SLSC)

• Savannah Angelozzi – (Cooks Hills SLSC)

Central Coast

• Poppi Lever – (Macmasters Beach SLSC)

• Thomas Rodham – (Umina SLSC)

• Kiara Jack – (Umina SLSC)

• Toby Armstrong – (Avoca Beach SLSC)

• Ryan Green – (Terrigal SLSC)

Sydney Northern Beaches

• Georgina Prowse – (North Curl Curl SLSC)

• Kimberley Doyle – (Manly LSC)

• Katelynn Doyle – (Manly LSC)

• Tia Emmott Bennett – (Manly LSC)

• Conner Maggs – (Manly LSC)


• Lily Finati – (North Bondi SLSC)

• Maya Dixon – (Wanda SLSC)

• Grace Elliot – (Elouera SLSC)

• Henri Carrera – (Wanda SLSC)

• Saskia Roberts – (North Bondi SLSC)


• Jade van Duin – (Bulli SLSC)

• Chelsea Jones – (Bulli SLSC)

• Dayle Air – (Thirroul SLSC)

• Caleb Sharman – (Bulli SLSC)

South Coast

• Nathan Robinson – (Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC)

• Jackson Sheedy – (Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC)

• Olivia Hall – (Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC)

• Zeely Carberry – (Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC)

Far South Coast

• Kirra Dale – (Broulee Surfers SLSC)


Thursday 12 October 2017