SURF'S UP: Matt Bevilacqua starting a surf swim race at the weekend. Photo Contributed
SURF'S UP: Matt Bevilacqua starting a surf swim race at the weekend. Photo Contributed Contributed

Young athletes aim high

ELEVEN lucky Bundaberg surf athletes took part in a three-day camp gaining a unique insight into the lifestyle and training requirements of a professional athlete.

The 11 athletes, selected from Moore Park, Bundaberg and Elliott Heads Surf Life Saving Clubs, joined 48 other junior competitors from across the Wide Bay region at the camp

Reigning Queensland ironman champion Matt Bevilacqua and state beach coach Ryan Hoffman dropped into Surf Life Saving Queensland's Athlete Development Program at Hervey Bay on the weekend to impart their collective wisdom on the group.

Program co-ordinator Jamie Findlay said it was a unique opportunity to learn from some of the best.

"It was a great weekend for the kids and they all took something out of it," Findlay said.

"Throughout the three days there were lessons in nutrition and recovery."

The program was designed to provide athletes aged 13-17 years with personal training and development opportunities and access to professional athletes and coaches in a bid to fast track their development in the sport.

"Hopefully it leads to a healthy lifestyle and a reinvigoration of youngsters in surf life saving," Findlay said.

"All of the athletes participating have been invited to attend on the back of their talent, passion and enthusiasm for the sport."

Findlay said Bevilacqua's involvement came after a breakthrough 12 months for the 23-year-old ironman, during which he won a maiden Queensland ironman title and competed in the professional Kellogg's Ironman series, before taking out the Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard World Championship in his first attempt.

"Matt's obviously one of the best ironman athletes currently going around, not only in Queensland but across Australia , and Ryan has a tremendous amount of experience in the sport as well," he said.

"For athletes of their calibre to be involved in this program is fantastic for the young kids participating and wonderful for local lifesaving in general."

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