Sawtell SLSC's Mette Klinkers (orange cap) at the start of one of her races representing the Netherlands during the European Life Saving Championships in Belgium.
Sawtell SLSC's Mette Klinkers (orange cap) at the start of one of her races representing the Netherlands during the European Life Saving Championships in Belgium.

Mette's a bronzed Aussie

DUAL citizenship may be on the nose in Parliament House at the moment but not in surf lifesaving.

Thanks to also being a citizen of The Netherlands, Sawtell SLSC patrol member Mette Klinkers competed for the Dutch team at the European Life Saving Championships.

The 16 year-old made a 40 hour trip each way to take to the sand and the sea at Ostend in Belgium but the long haul was worth it.

All of the hours training hard in Coffs Harbour's memorial pool as well as the Jetty and Diggers Beach when she won a bronze medal in the board final.

It was Mette's final event of the championships and saving her best for last she made a great pick-up of her board and then produced a strong sprint finish to finish third behind a pair of 18 year-olds from Great Britain and Spain.

Competing in the youth category, which is comparable with the under-19 age group in Australia, Mette faced the challenging conditions in the cold North Sea with strong winds and temperatures of 16.

The Dutch team was facing the favoured British, German, Spanish and French teams but Mette said representing The Netherlands was a thrill.

"I had the best time being part of the Dutch team and hanging with athletes from so many countries," Klinkers said.

"My teammates were awesome and really made me feel welcome."

With the Iron and Board being her favourite events, Mette reached the finals in all ocean events and had a great comeback in the iron race after an unfortunate start at the ski leg to finish eighth.

There isn't much time to rest for the Coffs girl after the European Championships as the Australian Surf life saving season will start in October.

"I'll have a few weeks off my training schedule and then get ready for the first races under-17 as competing for Cudgen SLSC," she said.



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