Sisters ready to show state pride on home beach
SURF LIFESAVING: Alexandra Headland sisters Tayla and Elli Halliday are eager to display their Queensland pride at the Interstate Championships on their home beach on Friday.
The talented teenagers are part of a 12-strong team, which will compete in the 13-event carnival.
"The last two years we've been beaten by New South Wales but this year we've got a very strong team," Tayla said.
"We've put together a great group of athletes, who are going to try their hardest to beat New South Wales, so we can really challenge them and show we are the better state."
The Hallidays will compete in the youth section.
Tayla, 17, comes into the championship during a breakthrough summer, having competed in the Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series.
She snared two top-five placings in three outings.
"Because I have been racing against open women, I definitely have confidence in myself and I'm looking forward to racing girls that are actually my age," she said.
Elli, 18, has been busy competing in the Summer of Surf and also with the Queensland Country Canecutters in the Super Surf Teams League.
"We finished fifth overall which is pretty good and now I'm looking forward to competing this weekend to see what I'm able to do for the (Queensland) team," she said.
The sisters started lifesaving when they were in under-6s at Alexandra Headland.
"Being safe in the surf is the No. 1 priority if we wanted to go to the beach and have fun so it (surf lifesaving) is something we did have to do as kids but now we're choosing to continue to do it competitively," Taylah said.
They have a passion for competition like their late father Trent, who lost his battle with liver cancer, aged 48, in 2015.
"Our dad was a very strong competitor so we're trying to follow in his footsteps," Tayla said.
"He was very good, from a young age.
"Hearing stories of him and how he challenged people like Grant Kenny is pretty special and something we're excited to hear and if we could be anywhere near as good as him, we would be so stoked."
The duo say it can be difficult to race against each other at carnivals, but they enjoy the sport together.
"It's challenging at times because we are trying to compete in open races but when we get to race in our age groups, we support each other no matter what," Tayla said.
"We know each other has worked so hard.
"So, we're always trying to beat other, but we still want the best for each other," the Sunshine Coast Grammar student said.
Elli, who is studying dietetics at university, said she was trying to play catch-up to her sister in surf lifesaving.
"It is a bit challenging because I'm the older one and she's the one who is being more successful right now, but I do wish the best for her and I hope I'm able to make the series one day like Tayla has," she said.