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Located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Suncoast Christian College is an independent college that provides nurturing Christ-centred education from Pre-prep to Year 12.
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SIARN & JAYDEN AMONGST NATIONS TOP KAYAKERS
Not many people may know it but Suncoast Christian College has two students who are making waves in the world of kayaking.
Over the Easter holidays Year 10 student Siarn O’Neill and Year 12 student Jayden Newell both went to Perth to compete in the National Kayaking Titles and both were selected for respective Australian teams that will compete overseas later in the year.
Siarn said the competition was grueling, “I competed everyday over five days in 36 degree heat. My favourite race is the 200m but I also competed in the 500m and 1000m races. In my age group (U15) I won every race.”
A pretty impressive effort from Siarn who will now go to the Czech Republic in September as the youngest member of the 2013 Australian Olympic Hopes Sprint Team to compete in the Olympic Hopes Regatta.
Jayden also impressed in Perth and was selected in the Australian Under 18 team that will be competing in Canada in August at the 2013 ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships. Jayden’s team will be competing against 68 countries worldwide and Jayden is justifiably elated. “I am very excited, I was going for this team, and next year I’m aiming for the Junior Olympics. Last year I competed in Hungry and that was amazing.”
Excelling in your sport at such a high level obviously comes with commitment and hard work, which both Siarn and Jayden are well accustomed to. “During peak season I train every morning and night for 1-1.5 hours each session; luckily my family are really supportive,” says Siarn.
As well as training hard, tireless fundraising is also a necessity as competing on a world stage does not come cheap. “My trip will cost $6000, which is a lot of money,” says Jayden. “Going to Racice (Czech Republic) will cost $6500 and yeah, I really need to do a fundraiser,” agrees Siarn.
Being that kayaking is not a standard sport to become involved in; both Siarn and Jayden’s stories of how they found the sport are very interesting.
Jayden says, “I went to a free sports talent identification day at the University of the Sunshine Coast. After testing me they recommended I do a 3 month trial with a kayaking club and I was good at it so I stuck with it. I just like it, it is good to have a physical outlet.”
Siarn found kayaking through a friend. “I was doing outrigging with a friend and she got me to come and try kayaking. I like the social side of it, the travelling and how far you can go with the sport. The racing is really exciting.”
Siarn in action.
Below - Jayden representing Australia in Hungary last year.
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