by Mitchell Craig
A STRONG contingent from Lennox Head has been selected in the Far North Coast inter-branch team for surf lifesaving.
Cudgen has the most athletes while Lennox Head has seven with Jack Breen, Samantha Hughes, Lachlan Mahon, Nathan McKenzie, Maisie Miller, Maalik Moston and Oliver Sharpe in the team.
"The inter-branch titles are a big deal in surf lifesaving, where essentially the best of the best from each of the 11 branches in New South Wales get to compete against each other,” Lennox's junior activity coordinator Sam Miller said. "We are delighted to have seven members of our club selected to compete this year.”
"Inter-branch is an elite level of competition, and provides a great opportunity for our athletes to benchmark their skills and fitness, and to see where they sit as they continue their preparations for the state titles in March.”
Byron Bay will be represented by nippers Suki Alford and Leilani Carter, with Will Jones in the under-17s and Shaun Sewall in open competition.
Ballina has one representative in Mahli Borman, who will compete in open competition and is the women's captain.
Cudgen will look to build on impressive performances from last season and continue to grow in numbers.
Anthea Warne, Hayley Smith and Paige Leishman will be ones to watch in the youth competition.
Cudgen also has Luke Jones in the under-17s and Luke Chaffer in the open competition and men's captain.
A handful of competitors from smaller clubs across the branch have also been selected while Lennox has boosted its numbers from previous seasons.
"Last year we had five members selected, so to go up two this year is testament to the hard work that all our nippers and youth members have been putting in this season,” Miller said. "What's also important to mention is that while we had seven athletes selected, we also have a good number of up-and-comers who, we understand, narrowly missed out on making the team.”
Head coach Scott McCartney is coming from Cudgen while Samantha Miller, Michelle Breen and Geoff Harris will assist the team. Byron Bay coach Paul Irwin and Greg Pile are also attending.
The inter-branch championships will be held over two days at Stockton in the Hunter region, starting December 9.