Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is pleased to announce the Junior Black Fins team captains for the 2018 Lifesaving World Championships (LWC), held this November at Glenelg Beach in Adelaide.
Claudia Kelly (East End) and Oscar Williams (Piha) will co-lead the 12-strong team who will compete in 43 pool and beach lifesaving events over five days of competition at the LWC, including three days of pool events and two days of beach and ocean events.
The captains were appointed at their first team camp held recently in Papamoa, where the athletes took part in a number of training and development sessions along with team building activities.
Kelly has competed for New Zealand at the Sanyo Cup in Japan twice, and has significant International racing experience, after she was part of the team for the DHL International Surf Rescue (ISRC) challenge last year as well as the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Sanyo International Lifesaving Cup, along with taking home the Taranaki record of nine medals from SLSNZ TSB Nationals in 2017.
Meanwhile, Williams also has a vast amount of international experience after competing with Kelly at the DHL ISRC last year, along with representing New Zealand at the 2017 World Games in Poland.
Kelly says wearing the black cap is special enough, without the added bonus of leading the Junior Black Fins.
"To me, wearing the black cap and competing for our country is such an honour in itself, so I feel truly privileged to have the opportunity to lead the Junior Black Fins alongside my co-captain Oscar [Williams]. It means a lot to lead such a strong team, and I can't wait for the months that lie ahead," she said.
Williams has enjoyed great pool results over the past few years, and last year, was part of the Piha Surf Life Saving Club team who won the club title at the 2017 SLSNZ Pool Championships.
Williams says he's grateful to have the opportunity to co-captain the team at the Lifesaving World Championships this year, and is "stoked" to do it alongside Kelly.
"It's a huge honour and very humbling to be co-captain alongside Claudia [Kelly]. I'm really looking forward to preparing with the team as I believe we have a great opportunity to do something pretty special over in Adelaide at the end of the year," he said.
New Zealand Junior Black Fins coach Matt Cairns says the first squad camp of the season was a very successful weekend and it was great being able to select the team captains, who will lead the team at this year's World Championships.
"We have a well-balanced team this year who are already working hard with their respective club coaches. Having Claudia and Oscar leading the team will be great. For youth athletes, they both have good experience behind them and have learnt from competing at the top level. Both are well respected by their team-mates and embrace an inclusive approach where our whole team are encouraged to lead in different ways," he said.
Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157