Surf Life Saving NSW’s brightest young surf sport stars have been honing their skills at the NSW Talented Athletes Program (TAP) on Sydney’s Northern Beaches during the holidays.
Five athletes from the Far North Coast represented the state with Chantal Luxton, Joshua Jones, Anthea Warne and Liam Wilson from Cudgen Headland SLSC as well as Zoe Hughes from Byron Bay SLSC all participating in the camp.
The Talented Athlete Program exposes 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 Tanyn Lyndon have gone on to win National and World Championships, represent Australia and qualify for the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series.
Zoe Hughes of Byron Bay SLSC said she had an amazing experience and learnt a lot over the three day camp.
‘It’s been so much fun and I’ve met so many new people from all over the state’, said Zoe. ‘Coming from nearly 10 hours away in Byron its been so cool meeting all these new kids and learning from different coaches and athletes. The coaches especially have been fantastic being really easy to talk to and very knowledgeable.’
Surf Life Saving NSW Sports Manager, Shane Knight, said the program is important to ensure the future of surf sports in NSW.
‘The Talented Athlete Program is one of the most successful and longest running programs SLSNSW offers to its members’, said Mr Knight. ‘This program exposes athletes from around NSW to some of the best coaching and sport science testing around.
Nine surf life saving branches from NSW were represented in this year’s program with athletes travelling from as far north as Kingscliff and as far south as Tathra.
Forty competitors were selected to participate in the three day program at the Sydney Academy of Sport, from over 90 nominations received. North Curl Curl’s Tony Williams lent his expertise to the program as Head Coach.
‘The main thing about TAP is that it is a good introduction to future representation for the sport’, said Williams. ‘The group here is the cream of the cream, there is stacks of ability. It is a great opportunity for kids to learn different skills and compete against athletes of similar ability and make contacts in this environment. Friendships have been formed up and down the coast at TAP’.
The action packed program was supported by Engine Swim and NSW Sport and Recreation – SLSNSW.