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Their talents may shine brightest on the summer stage, but the cold of winter hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of some of the north coasts’ emerging surf sport stars after they recently completed the first ever Country Development Camp.  


Fifteen athletes made the trek to Coffs Harbour SLSC last week for three-days of skill development and mentoring under the watchful eye of representative coach Scott McCartney.

Although it is very much an out-of-season program it was an opportunity for those who compete in the U15 through to the Open Age Groups to come together and train with some likeminded individuals.

One of the key reasons of establishing this program was to highlight the representative pathway available for Country athletes and to encourage them to pursue their dreams within surf lifesaving.

There is certainly plenty of talent in Country NSW, and this is reinforced by the impressive resumes of the attending athletes who boast over 100 medals between them at a Country and State Championship level.

“The three days were put to good use with the athletes gaining valuable knowledge and experience from coaches and older athletes about the country team and its pathways, training sessions to show case their skills as well as time to bond and get to know each other from different clubs,” said Scott McCartney who is proving to be just as talented holding a clipboard as he is as a competitor.

“Looking at the pool of athletes coming up through the ranks we will only get stronger and continue to enjoy success in the coming years,” he said.

Several of those attending the program have been part of recent Country NSW squads and in an effort to get more competition for regional based athletes an Open Team travelled to Interstate at South Australia earlier this year.

The NSW Country team will next be in action in January when they take part in the 2019 Trans-Tasman Series, a biennial event involving athletes from New Zealand’s Northern Region and the Central Coast.

And it’s fair to say that after impressing at Coffs Harbour, many of these athletes will be battling it out for a place on the eventual team.

2018 Country Surf Life Saving Development Squad Participants

  • Nicholas Bulloch – Coffs Harbour SLSC

  • Shaylla Young – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Paige Leishman – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Luke Chaffer – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Chloe Jones – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Lily O’Sullivan – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Liam Worling – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Ginger Allen – Cullen Headland SLSC

  • Claudia Crawford – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Stirling Crawford – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Olissa Onley – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Kai Onley – Cudgen Headland SLSC

  • Cloe Nolan – Sawtell SLSC

  • Hayley Fischer – Sawtell SLSC

  • Finn Askew – Tacking Point SLSC

  • Head Coach – Scott McCartney   

Monday 23 July 2018