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Jul 18

Higher honours call

Shellharbour’s Kiara Meredith and Shell Cove’s Dylan Rodgers will represent NSW at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles in Yallingup, Western Australia. Picture: PHIL McCARROLL
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Shellharbour’s Kiara Meredith and Shell Cove’s Dylan Rodgers will represent NSW at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles in Yallingup, Western Australia. Picture: PHIL McCARROLL

TWO Shellharbour City surfers are gearing up for this year’s Australian Junior Surfing Titles in Yallingup, Western Australia.

Dylan Rodgers, 17, and Kiara Meredith, 14, both members of Southbridge Boardriders, were selected in the NSW team for the national titles after strong showings at the Illawarra Junior Regional and NSW State Junior titles.

In the Illawarra titles, Dylan took out the under-18 boys’ division while Kiara placed second in the under-16 girls, before they both finished fifth in their respective categories at the state titles. This was enough to secure them a spot in the NSW team.

With Yallingup renowned for its waves, the two teenagers are keen to take on the conditions – and some of the best junior surfers from across the country.

“It’s something I’m pretty excited about,” Dylan said. “I think I’ve been surfing pretty good and I’m a little confident that I can go over there and do pretty well.”

The titles run from November 30-December 7. The team assembles in camp a few days ahead of the start date.

“It’s something I’m really looking forward to,” Kiara said.

“We get there a few days early and go into camp, and I’m looking forward to meeting the coaches and everybody else and maybe picking some tips up before the comp starts.”

It’s the first time in the team for both Dylan and Kiara, and while they aren’t getting ahead of themselves they are aware that further representative honours could follow a strong performance.

“After this is the World Junior Titles,” Dylan said. “If you have a good Australian titles you could get an invite to the test for that, which would be pretty amazing to be picked in so I guess that’s added motivation.”

Making the trip more manageable for the duo has been the support of their school, Warilla High, and help from the Shellharbour Sports Assistance Fund (SSAF).

Shellharbour City Councillor David Boyle said the SSAF was happy to contribute.

“The fund helps athletes who qualify to compete at national or international levels. It’s great that we’ve been able to help Dylan and Kiara to cover some of their airfares and accommodation.

“It’s great that we’ve got people like Dylan and Kiara representing the Shellharbour area at these kinds of events.”

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