Three of the far north coast’s brightest young athletes, Evee Thuys, Josh Quinn and Caitlin Callahan, were busy in the final days of their school holidays at the NSW Talented Athlete Program (TAP) at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen.
The Talented Athlete Program exposes NSW’s leading U13–15 athletes to the beginning of the Surf Life Saving NSW High Performance pathway. Athletes that have taken part in this program in the past, such as Kendrick Louis, Alyce Bennett and Daniel Booth, have gone on to win national and world championships, represent Australia and qualify for the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IronMan Series.
Fourteen-year-old Cudgen Headland SLSC product Josh Quinn found the program extremely beneficial.
‘I’ve learnt new techniques and received great feedback on my form from the coaches, who are really helpful with giving us the best advice,’ says Josh. ‘As well as the serious side it’s been really fun meeting new people and when we all get to relax at the end of the day we all just hang out and have fun.’
‘The talented athlete program is a great opportunity for young surf athletes from across the state,’ he says. ‘Being exposed to some of the best sports facilities and coaching in the country is a great learning experience, especially for the kids from the regional areas of NSW. This program is renowned for producing some of the most successful athletes of the future and I am confident that this will continue given the calibre of some of the athletes that attended this year.’
All eleven SLS branches from NSW were represented in this year’s program. Athletes travelled from as far north as the Tweed and as far south as Broulee.
Forty-one competitors were selected to participate in the three-day program at the Sydney Academy of Sport, from more than 100 nominations received. Four elite coaches from throughout NSW worked with the squad in their chosen disciplines with the group also being visited by superstars Kendrick Louis, Jake Lynch and Katie Williams.
The action-packed program is supported by NSW Sport and Recreation. SLSNSW state coaches took the squad through surf-sports-specific training aimed at developing skills, technique and building the athletes’ understanding of the physical training required to reach their goals in surf sports competition. The Sydney Academy of Sport educated the participants on performance-enhancing theory including sports nutrition, sports psychology and goal setting.