Hunter surf lifesaving: Region’s stars of tomorrow help NSW to national success

LEADING THE WAY: Cooks Hill’s Bella Williams was one of five Hunter athletes in the successful NSW Youth Pathway Cup team. Picture: Stephen ChuFIVE aspiring Hunter surf lifesavers have helped a 20-strong NSW team claim the first Youth PathwayCup.

Cooks Hills multiple national champion Bella Williams was co-captain of the team which racked up 170 points across 38 events to beat Queensland (150)for first at the Day carnival at Freshwater Beach, Sydney. Western , South and Victoria also competed in the event for under 14 and 15 athletes.

Fletcher Myers (Cooks Hill) and Swansea Belmont pairNicholas Stoddart andSaxon Coates were in the 10-person under 15s line-up with Williams. Dan Chisholm (Swansea Belmont) was in the under-14s.

Myers was second in the under 15 boys beach sprint and flags. The rest of the Hunter contingent helped NSW succeed in teams events.

Hunter’s future stars shine Saxon Coates

Nicholas Stoddart

Bella Williams

The NSW Pathway Cup squad. Picture: Supplied

TweetFacebookPictures by Stephen ChuThe strong representation from Hunter came after the region’s drought-breaking podium finish at the NSW Interbranch titles at Stockton last month.

“It was excellent to get that many in, especially with four in the under 15s,” Hunter coach Tim Foran said of the state selections.

“We’ve really been basing a lot of our future on this 15s group and downin the Interbranch. Every year since they’ve been in the branch team as under 12s, they’ve been a dominant age group in the state, so it’s great for them to get recognition with these selections.From what we’ve seen the past four years, these kids are going to be the next big superstars coming through.”

The Cup success follows on from thestandout performances of Redhead’s Nicola Owen and Hayden Copping in NSW’s Interstate titles victory a week earlier at Moana Beach, South .The duo helped NSW win the youth titleand the overall pointscore. Clubmate Daniel Collins was in the open side.

“We stacked the beach time this year and call it a power play, but it did mean we had to make our water people step up” NSW coach Jim Walker said.“All the young kids coming into the team, Nicola Owen, Naomi Scott, Lizzie Welborn, Jemma Smith, Hayden White, Mitchell Trim, they all had to step up and they did.”

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