Wanda SLC World’s Team #Rescue2014

12th September 2014

Wanda SLC World’s Team - #Rescue2014

Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club is sending a small, but talented crew over to Montpellier in the South of France to take on the World in the Surf Life Saving World Titles starting mid September. Leading the way is recent Australian U19’s 2km Beach Champ and gun local runner Ali Najem. He’s come a long way in 2 years from when he started - he couldn’t even swim. After coming 2nd in the U20’s at the last World Titles, he is in prime form to give the seniors a shake up.  
“Back in those days I came from a school x-country running program where I had just started regular running training, and barely got through my bronze medallion swim, to now actually saving lives in the Surf, and about to compete on the other side of the World for a world title, it’s pretty exciting. I can’t thank Wanda Surf Club and Jock Athletic enough for opening up these opportunities and supporting me through the past two years, it has changed my life.” 

Along side Ali is John Woods, both members of the 2012 U20 World Title winning Wanda team. John a previous U17 national Belt Swim champion has now moved to the seniors and is taking on the big boys in several surf swimming and pool events and is also a bit of a dark horse in the 2km. John is training up to 23 hours a week at the moment and in great shape.

Rounding off the small team are Jock and Melissa Campbell competing in both opens and masters 2km Beach run. Supermum Melissa is competing only 6 months after giving birth to her 3rd child and it’s her first surf lifesaving event since last World Titles in 2012, where she placed 5th in the opens.  “I’m just happy to have my body back after 3 kids. I feel great and am really looking forward to running in France” Melissa is a previous state champ and Aussie silver medalist in this event.

Old man Jock rounds off the team fresh from winning Aussie gold in the master’s 2km. “This is the first time, due to cricket commitments, that I’ve ever been able to compete at the World titles. I’m going as a competitor, coach and also somehow became a very reluctant manager. There are 40 entrants in my age category for the master’s race and over 160 entrants for the opens with most competitors coming from all over Europe, UK and South Africa, so I can’t wait. I’ve never been in a race where the majority of runners don’t speak English, so it’s going to be a great experience, and it’s in the South of France, that’s gold!” Said Campbell.

“I’m really impressed with the effort and training Ali, Woodsey and Melissa have been putting in, with the two youngsters training more than 20 hours per week and Mel showing great commitment straight after having her 3rd baby. We’re going there to do well in our main events, not just to enter many events. The Wanda Surf Club, sponsors Lloyds IGA North Cronulla and all our members have been very generous with their support for us, which makes me really proud of my Club. I had the chance to attend the Commonwealth games with one of my athletes or go to the World’s in France. It’s a big show of exactly how much I love Surf Lifesaving and our athletes' chances over in France, that I chose the Worlds. Jock Athletic also sponsored the Team.”

Good luck to all.