North Coast Academy of Sport surf lifesaving coach Jim McCullagh with New South Wales Talented Athletes Program participants Zac Donnelly, Madeline McCullagh, Zoe Burgess and Naomi Howe.
North Coast Academy of Sport surf lifesaving coach Jim McCullagh with New South Wales Talented Athletes Program participants Zac Donnelly, Madeline McCullagh, Zoe Burgess and Naomi Howe.

Coach, lifesavers learn from best

SEVERAL North Coast junior surf lifesavers and their coach Jim McCullagh were busy in the final days of the school holidays at the New South Wales Talented Athletes Program in Sydney.

Squad members are Zac Donnelly, Madeline McCullagh, Zoe Burgess and Naomi Howe.

McCullagh received recently a scholarship from the North Coast Academy of Sport to get coaching qualifications in long distance running and sprints, strength and conditioning.

Next year he will head up the sprint, flags and beach run program for the academy, which will be preceded by a pilot program for the North Coast branch sand competitors in the 2010/11 season.

“The Talented Athletes Program has been an amazing learning experience for both the kids and me. I have gained some valuable coaching techniques and contacts, which will be very helpful as I take on my new coaching role next year,” McCullagh said.

“It was also a great opportunity for our branch kids to have access to high-level sport coaching and obtain the latest information on sport science, testing and nutrition. It allowed our athletes to gauge how they compared to the other talented kids within the state and to network and create friendships.”

The Surf Life Saving New South Wales Talented Athlete Program comprises of the most promising under-13 to under-15 surf sports competitors in the state.

There were 42 competitors selected to participate in the three-day program at the Sydney Academy of Sport, from more than 160 nominations received. Eight elite coaches from throughout New South Wales worked with the squad in their chosen disciplines.

The action-packed program is supported by New South Wales Sport and Recreation. SLSNSW state coaches took the squad through surf sports-specific training aimed at developing skills, technique and building the athletes’ understanding of the physical training required to reach their goals in surf sports competition.

The Sydney Academy of Sport educated the participants on performance-enhancing theory, including sports nutrition, sports psychology and goal setting.



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