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Budding lifeguards fired up for nationals

Feb 11th, 2009 | By | Category: Latest News, News

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Young Worser Bay Surf Club athletes practise paddle board racing at Lyall Bay.

YOUNGSTERS at a top Wellington surf club are training for more than eight hours a week in the lead-up to the national Ocean Athlete Championships in March.

Third ranked in the Wellington region, Worser Bay Surf Club has been holding four beach training sessions and one pool session per week since November last year.

Training activities include swimming, rescues, paddle boarding and practising race techniques such as stops and starts.

Children are expected to undertake their own training in addition to the club’s.

The competition is heavy and to win a race at the championships is a real achievement, says Brendon Ward, Junior Club Coach.

“They’re swimming, boarding, performing tube rescues in trying and testing conditions,” he says.

“They’re confident, competent and able to guard and rescue people like you and me.”

Held at Mt Maunganui, the under-14 event was established nine years ago and aims to celebrate all participants while recognising top achievers.

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Destiny Va, one of Worser Bay Surf Club's top athletes.

One of Worser Bay’s entrants, Destiny Va, has been putting in up to 12 hours per week, supplementing her beach training with athletics and swimming.

In her age group, Destiny placed second in beach flags and ninth in the board race at Ocean Athletes last year and came second overall at the Wellington regional competitions.

As a 13-year-old, this will be her last year at the under 14s before she can become a qualified lifeguard and enter the national championships with other lifeguards up to 30 years old.

Although she acknowledges that it’s a big step, Destiny is not apprehensive about leaving the younger group of competitors.

She enjoys the continuous improvement she gets from training and says she’s never put off by Wellington’s often changeable weather.

Destiny likes the team environment at Ocean Athletes and is “real excited” for the event.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student who wants to use her writing skills for good, not evil. Miyuki likes: food, Seinfeld and talkback radio. She dislikes: not having time to read, killing insects and the news.
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