Country calling for young surf lifesavers
A STACK of Far North Coast surf lifesavers will represent the NSW Country team at the NSW Interstate Championships at Newport Beach in Sydney.
Competition starts today with Byron Bay's Will Jones and Lennox Head's Nathan Mackenzie joining 12 Cudgen competitors in open and youth teams.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for athletes outside the Newcastle-Wollongong corridor to gain representative experience at the top level,” NSW coach Jim Walker said.
"Last year NSW Country sent an open team to the South Australian capital and this experiment was such a success that is has been expanded to include a youth team.”
The youth team includes Jones and Mackenzie along with Cudgen competitors Anthea Warne, Paige Leishman, Hayley Smith, Claudia Crawford and Joseph Warne.
Cabarita Beach junior Cahrizma MacDonald is also in the team while Cudgen's Sofie Boyd, Chloe Jones, Mahli Borham, Luke Chaffer, Angus MacPhail, Kai Onley and Josh Jones are in the open division.
FNC product Lily O'Sullivan has also been selected in the under-15 team for the youth Pathway Cup NSW team.
The Youth Pathway Cup offers an opportunity for some of the most talented juniors across the under-14 and 15 age groups to test their skills against the best in Australia.
The event will run alongside the interstate competition in Sydney.
For most of the team it will be their first time representing NSW, and the selectors have chosen the squad based on their ability and versatility on the sand and in the surf.
Many of the competitors have already achieved exceptional results at state and country championships in the past and this will expose them to a higher representative level.
Squads consist of five male and five female athletes across both age groups.
"I'm really looking forward to getting everyone together. It's the first opportunity we have had to get the team together since it was selected late last year,” coach Rachelle King said.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for the group to race other athletes their age from around Australia and see where they're at before participating at the Aussie champs in April.”
Cudgen is gearing up to host the NSW Country Championships next weekend.