Guest coaches Rebecca Creedy and Rhett Collie with Tannum Sands Nippers Alana Dunkovic, Gemma Higgins, Maddy O’Sullivan, Kiana Busk, Maddy Randazzo and Megan Evans.
Guest coaches Rebecca Creedy and Rhett Collie with Tannum Sands Nippers Alana Dunkovic, Gemma Higgins, Maddy O’Sullivan, Kiana Busk, Maddy Randazzo and Megan Evans. Sam Darroch

Nippers gain skills from medallist

COMMONWEALTH Games gold medallist Rebecca Creedy and renowned Ironman coach Rhett Collie were in town during the weekend to provide Tannum Sands Nippers with a training camp to further develop their surf lifesaving skills.

Just three weeks into the surf season Creedy, the 2009 State Ironwoman champion, and Collie were on hand to impart their knowledge and extensive surf experience to Tannum kids and coaches alike in preparation for the year ahead.

“Down south a little bit further, we’re really fortunate to have a little bit more money and time to invest skills in our surf clubs and we’re bringing those resources up here and giving the local coaches and volunteer coaches something to work with,” Creedy said.

“It’s about giving a little bit more information about where to start and just basically what we do in programs to get the results we have, so it’s really good.”

Creedy’s coaching comrade Collie said the training camp focused on the fundamentals.

“We’re teaching basic surf skills, mainly board paddling and swimming,” Collie said.

“They don’t often get the experience that a lot of the guys down south get, so we’re just trying to pass on some things and we’re a bit more experienced than some of the coaches and hopefully we can pass some of that on as well.”

The two-day camp comes ahead of the first major carnival of the season, the North Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships in Mackay at the end of October, where club official Kylee Fedalto foresees success for her nippers.

“I’d expect quite good outcomes for our under-14 girls in team events and we’ve got a couple of under-11 boys who’ll perform well,” Fedalto said.

Placing in the North Australian Championships would secure a place in the state squad to compete at the Interbranch championships at Broadbeach just before Christmas.

A handful of Tannum Sands surf lifesavers made the Queensland Country side last season, but with the aid of top coaches such as Collie and Creedy, that number could swell in the coming months.

“We always try to source quality; we’ve had Michael King previously,” Fedalto said.

“We try to have two or three camps a year. This season they looked at one here and one on the Sunshine Coast in January to develop their surf skills.”

The 150 strong club of nippers will also compete in a series of local events, culminating in a branch carnival at Emu Park in February.

From there they can be selected to compete at the Junior State Titles at Tweed Heads in Coolongatta in mid March.

The senior patrol season is also under way and on September 12 three people were rescued from Wild Cattle Creek.

“Every year we rescue people there,” Chief Patrol Officer Stafford Sharpe said.

The senior patrol have their branch competition in Harvey Bay in February, with their state titles on the Gold Coast in March.



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