Liam Press in action at the Queensland State Barefoot Titles in Blackwater.
Liam Press in action at the Queensland State Barefoot Titles in Blackwater. Contributed

Brothers who walk on water find early success in sport

BEN and Liam Press are not like most other 12 and 14-year-old boys - they can walk on water.

Not literally of course, unless you count skiing across lakes and rivers on bare feet a miracle.

Water skiing since they were each 18 months old, the Gladstone brothers have been learning the barefoot form of the sport for a bit more than 12 months, with quick success driving huge ambitions for the future.

Older brother Liam is a Queensland champion in the junior division, despite giving up a few years on his rivals, while Ben found home at second in the sub-junior ranks, with two more years left before graduating to join the juniors.

Having learned mostly from their father Graham, it was a day with world-class barefooter Brendan Paige which really set the boys flying.

The placings for the boys meant qualifying for the Australian titles in Perth, although the Press family is waiting until 2015 for a crack at the national level.

"We are not going to make it, but next year is on the east coast and we are looking at going to that," Graham said.

Quiet boys who have not let the success change their way of living, Liam and Ben train every day in their backyard, perfecting techniques on land.

Overall, the pair enjoys the competition and friendship of the sport more than winning - at least equal to it anyway.

"It is fun competing against other kids," Liam said.

Both Press boys also want to make the sport their future.

"I would like to go to the States and start up a ski school on a private lake," Ben said.

With Ben bound for the US, in his goals anyway, Liam is keen to stay in his home country while travelling the world entertaining as the best there is.

"I want to become a world champion and start a ski school in Australia," Liam said.

Ben Press, 12, during the Queensland State Titles for barefoot water skiing at Blackwater.
Ben Press, 12, during the Queensland State Titles for barefoot water skiing at Blackwater. Contributed


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