Surf Life Saving NSW has announced the NSW team that will compete for the inaugural Youth Pathway Cup at Sydney’s Freshwater Beach on Australia Day.
Among the group is Port Macquarie’s Ty-Jesse Brabant (14), a talented athlete who won gold in 2017 at the NSW Interbranch Championship on the board.
He also won the board category at the Country Championships in 2017.
The Youth Pathway Cup is Surf Life Saving’s newest representative competition and will allow the brightest prospects to test their skills against the best Australia has to offer.
All of the mainland state will field teams of 20 athletes for this revolutionary surf sport contest.
Each squad will consist of 5 male and 5 female athletes with the athletes selected for their versatility on the sand and in the surf. And Brabant can’t wait to compete.
He has been a nipper since under 6s, and also patrols at Flynns Beach.
“I liked the beach and wanted to get in the water all the time. It was a good idea to start swimming early and I always enjoyed it,” he said.
“I love being in the water with all your mates, having a good time. At the carnivals it’s good to get into the hard work, to switch on mentally and just watch the beach.”
Although he doesn’t know a great deal about this new cup, he is excited to have been recognised as the best on the board in NSW.
I love being in the water with all your mates, having a good time.Ty-Jesse Brabant
Brabant will go into camp on January 24 and compete at the carnival on the Friday (January 26).
“I think my selection comes down to my strength on the board,” he said.
“I train hard. It’s very hard work. I train in the pool in the morning and again in the afternoon doing board paddling at the beach.
“I want to be a surf lifesaver one day, go to Queensland and compete when I’m older and keep competing.”
Brabant made it despite being among an initial squad of more than 50 names.
Last month’s Interbranch Championship provided an opportunity to state their case for selection, and Brabant excelled.
Surf Sport Manager Rob Pidgeon said it’s an exciting opportunity for this young squad to make their own mark on the sport.
“For several seasons it has been a goal of ours to forge new pathway opportunities for our young athletes to narrow the gap from talented junior to a fully-fledged senior athlete,” he said.
“This event has only been made possible through the collaboration of the five states that are all strong supporters, and keen to help make this competition work as a state driven initiative.”