Australian Youth Lifesaving Squad Named

Surf Life Saving SA would like to congratulate the following athletes, Lachlan Merchant (Glenleg), Kian Bird (Grange), Anneka Kidd (Seacliff) and Helena Schwerdt ( Grange), who were named over the weekend as State Representatives for the Australian Youth Lifesaving Shadow Squad.

The Youth Squad will be used to select teams to compete at International Surf Rescue Challenge later this year and will look to retain their title as Youth Life Saving World Champions when Worlds 2018 is held in Adelaide from 17 November – 2 December 2018.

The squad will be headlined by returning athlete from Australia’s 2016 Youth Life Saving squad in Naomi Scott (Manly). Naomi had a breakthrough year in 2016/2017 with an outstanding 8th place in the Nutri-Grain Finals Series just three weeks after her 17th birthday.

Beach sensation Alex Rampoldi (North Cronulla) sealed her place in the squad claiming gold in both U17 Female Flags and Open Female Flags at Aussies this year as a 15-year-old. She will be joined by fellow young gun Lani Pallister who had an extremely successful Youth Aussies 2017 campaign taking home 6 gold medals from this year’s competition.

Maroochydore’s strong representation in the Open Australian Squad has carried over to the Youth Squads also with four athletes being named. Mackenzie Duffy & Tiarnee Massie teamed up to take home two gold medals from 2017 Aussies while Byron Turton and Matthew Palmer were a part of the winning U17 Ski Relay team on the Gold Coast this year. Avoca Beach will also feature four athletes within the squads.

Experienced coaches Brett Dowker and Craig Holden will again lead the team and will be joined by Rachelle King (Pool) and Sam Dick (Beach).

Dowker has expressed his excitement about working with a new youth squad for the next 18 months.

“With the youth squad, every two years we get to see a new group of up and coming athletes come in to the national program. This is really exciting for us as coaches to be able to work with these athletes and their club coaches to see them develop.,” Brett Dowker said.

“Traditionally we have named a squad of 24 ocean & beach athletes however due to nature of Aussies this year we are really excited to bring a shadow squad and state shadow squad on board to include athletes who are also on selectors radar. We want these athletes to force their way into consideration for Worlds 2018.”

The 24 athletes selected squad athletes will be joined by eight shadow squad members and a further 20 state representatives from around Australia following a shortened Aussies campaign. The Australian Youth Life Saving Team (AYLT) Squad will be finalised with the addition of another 24 athletes following the conclusion of Surf Life Saving Australia’s National Pool Rescue Championships to be held in Adelaide from 4-6 August 2017.

Selectors will name a Youth Team to compete at International Surf Rescue Challenge at Mt Maunganui, New Zealand from 30 Nov – 2 Dec 2017 within the next fortnight.

Australian Youth Life Saving Team Squad

Lani Pallister  | Alexandra Headland

Keeley Booth | Avoca Beach

Lily Cracknell | Avoca Beach

Finn Flaherty | Avoca Beach

Mitchell Coombes | BMD Northcliffe

Ky Kinsela | Currumbin

Jake Evans | Elouera

Michael Hanna | Elouera

Christopher King | Elouera

Emily Doyle | Manly

Naomi Scott | Manly

Mackenzie Duffy | Maroochydore

Tiarnee Massie |Maroochydore

Matthew Palmer | Maroochydore

Byron Turton | Maroochydore

James Finn | Newport

Electra Outram | Noosa

Ben Highfield | North Cronulla

Kira Hood | North Cronulla

Alexandra Rampoldi | North Cronulla

Nicola Owen | Redhead

Jazmine Yew | Thirroul

Lachlan Braddish | Umina

Jamee Smith | Wanda


Shadow Squad

Thomas Baker | Alexandra Headland

Elli Halliday | Alexandra Headland

Emma Livingstone | Avoca Beach

Imogen Rees | BMD Northcliffe

Grace Gurr | Manly

Olivia Emanuel | Sunshine Beach

Jackson Chapman | Tugun

Brooke Dixon | Wanda

Shadow Squad – State Representatives

Ryan Blenkinship | Mindil NT

Lance Hutt | Mindi lNT

Chelsea Lane | Mindil NT

Lauren McSkimming | Mindi lNT

Lachlan Merchant | Glenelg SA

Kian Bird | Grange SA

Helena Schwerdt | Grange SA

Anneka Kidd | Seacliff SA

Ned Lennox | Carlton Park TAS

Lochlan Bromfield | Clifton Beach TAS

Georgie Matthews | Devonport TAS

Eve Bell | Port Sorrell TAS

Saxon Davidson | Altona VIC

Natalie Clucas | Anglesea VIC

Jesse Coulson | Ocean Grove VIC

Grace Harris | Torquay VIC

Jack Musika | Coogee WA

Macarah Mallis | Sorrento WA

Sydney Rafferty | Sorrento WA

Callan Smith | Trigg Island WA


Team Coaches & Management:

  • Coach – Brett Dowker (Currumbin)
  • Assistant Coach – Craig Holden (Elliott Heads)
  • Assistant Coach – Rachelle King (Terrigal)
  • Assistant Coach – Sam Dick (Currumbin)
  • Team Manager – Max Gonzalez (Bronte