Behind the scenes: Senior State Championships

Meet Iris Cassell. Iris manages the Point Leo SLSC Senior Competition Team. She has been the Team Manager for four years and loves the excitement that surrounds the Senior State Championships. Iris enjoys watching the athletes grow and develop through lifesaving. “Seeing that their hard work gains results… It may be reaching a personal goal, achieving a first, improving a skill or working on something out of your comfort zone with the support of your team-mates,” she says. Iris knows that the hard work is part of her position after dedicating many hours to her position over the years, but can’t put anything past the rewarding nature of her role. “Know that by doing the hard work you make a significant contribution to your club and the surf sports community,” she says. Iris is specifically looking forward to the closing Taplin and has reminded her team that attitude is everything.

She signs out with this: “Go to the event with the attitude that you must be prepared for anything – changes to the conditions, programming, starting, it is the nature of our sport. Keep focused on what you have set out to do. Be helpful, show a good sports attitude and look out for each other. You don’t have to be first over the line to win.”

“When I think I can’t paddle any faster or go any harder, I can still find that bit extra to keep going”   – Maiya Cumming, Warrnambool SLSC

Meet Maiya Cumming. She is one of the many athletes new to Senior States after competing for many years as a nipper. Competing for Warrnambool SLSC, Maiya is returning from a foot injury and has had a modified training schedule over the past few weeks. With Senior States being one of her first major competitions since returning from her injury, Maiya is hoping for a good swell to keep things fresh and exciting. Her motto is to train hard. “My older brother always says to stay committed and treat every training sessions like it’s a race,” she says. After previously training five to six times a week, Maiya is keen to compete on her home beach. She knows she can push herself harder even when she feels like her tank is empty. Maiya has a wise head on her young shoulders, saying “When I think I can’t paddle any faster or go any harder, I can still find that bit extra to keep going.  The mind gives up long before the body does,” she says. She is keen to get on the board, both as an individual and with her team, but knows that it’s going to be tough against their rivals in Jan Juc, Point Leo and Ocean Grove. She signs out with this: “This year I’m going to have to work extra hard on the sand, due to my foot injury that is only just recovering. But I would like to wish all the athletes the very best of luck for the 2019 LSV Senior Vic titles!”

“You can only control your own performance on comp day, so it’s about getting yourself into the best position possible to execute what you practice at training under the increased pressure of competing against others”   – Kate Walker, Anglesea SLSC

Meet Samuel Dripps. Samuel dedicates a minimum of three swims a week to his chosen discipline, but tries to keep things as fresh as possible. He and his training partner for the First Aid competition have been going hard since December last year, and challenge each other in more ways than one. By focusing on different things each week, they are able to develop their skills over a range of events. His best advice? “To try and do some different training each week, like focus on champion lifesaver one week and the swimming the next.” Despite being most excited about the Champion Lifesaver events that took place last weekend, Samuel is looking forward to catching up and competing against his friends over the long weekend. He believes that it’s still important to have fun even though it’s the state titles. Samuel knows that Jan Juc SLSC is a competitor in the water, but believes they will have their work cut out for them on the beach against Ocean Grove. He signs out like a true sportsperson: “I hope that everyone has a great weekend and that the weather stays nice for everyone.”

“Do not ponder things that you have no control over, but rather take control of those things you can!”   – Andy Murrel, Portland SLSC

Meet Kate Walker. Athlete and Director of Surf Sports with Anglesea SLSC – she does it all. A dedicated mindset keeps Kate in the game physically, training both in the gym and on the track throughout the year. Kate thrives in the presence of her coaches, with whom she and her team meet once a week for a more in-depth session. “We’re lucky enough to learn from such passionate and experienced coaches in Peter Van Miltenburg and John Baldock,” she says. Kate can’t wait to get on the beach and see everyone reach new heights with their intensity as they compete for the team, and knows she is as prepared as she can be. “You can only control your own performance on comp day, so it’s about getting yourself into the best position possible to execute what you practice at training under the increased pressure of competing against others,” Kate says. Her dedication to competing and her new role as Director of Surf Sports has come with its challenges, but knows she will be able to perform at her best due to the support of her Team Managers who do a great job on competition day. She signs out with this: “The beach section as a whole has seen a huge injection of talent and depth over the last few seasons, so we’ve always got to be switched on, and ready for anything!”

“Know that by doing the hard work you make a significant contribution to your club and the surf sports community”   – Iris Cassel, Point Leo SLSC

Meet Andy Murrell. As one of Portland SLSC’s Team Managers and Coaches, Andy does not want the spotlight – rather, he wants to celebrate the achievements of his team and children. After 25 years in the business, he knows the process and how to get the most out of his team. Dedicating around 15 hours each week to his roles, Andy wants to help his team get the most out of themselves. “Being able to assist competitors to improve themselves, and by doing so generates a greater sense of personal fulfillment and gain confidence in what they have achieved and their own ability,” he says. He can’t wait to watch his fellow ‘Portlanders’ strive to reach their full potential. Andy believes in the role of Team Manager, saying that “competitors from your club they need to have a manager who can negotiate the various forms of information that needs to be processed and then responded to. Once you become familiar with the protocol of the process the procedures become straight forward.” Andy wants to remind each athlete that they are in control of themselves. “Do not ponder things that you have no control over, but rather take control of those things you can!”

 “I hope that everyone has a great weekend and that the weather stays nice for everyone.”   – Samuel Dripps, Jan Juc SLSC

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