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GAP: Regional Camp based in Geraldton - an area small in stature, big on talent!
15 May 2010
by Amber Bradley, WAIS Rower - former World Champion, Olympic Bronze Medallist.

Geraldton GAP Camp – May 15 and 16

The Geraldton Gap camp was scheduled to begin at the gentlemanly hour of 11.00am on Saturday, 15 May. And given my Perth-based coach would be none the wiser, I was extremely tempted to enjoy a rare sleep in before meeting the Midwest sporting talent.
But as is most often the case, my conscience got the better of me. So I rose early and stumbled out the door of my hotel room in search of The Greene Room – a family-run gymnasium in downtown Gero.

Now I must confess that, as an elite WAIS rower, I pride myself on having pretty decent cardiovascular fitness. So my ego couldn’t look past the you beaut "Step Master” cardio machine inside the inspiring workout centre. And whilst creating an epic pool of sweat beneath me I noticed the ultra-impressive Greene Room Stair Champion records, which were blu-tacked to the wall in front of me. It was then that I realised this humble town of 35,000 people knew a thing or two about training hard!

Fast forward a couple of hours and I was finally given the opportunity to meet the region’s newest generation of awesome athletes.
WAIS GAP Training Officer Kate Bobridge and I presented to 22 12-14 year-olds for several hours on Saturday before spending the remainder of that day and much of the next with the 24 15-21 year-olds whose names were put forward by their local sporting bodies.

Alex and Catherine from the Department of Sport and Recreation made the whole weekend run smoothly as they organised the most important things like when we would eat and where we would sleep. Geraldton-based DSR Officer Simon Barras also helped out in between his own hockey commitments.


As is usual with GAP workshops, Kate and I chewed the youngsters’ ears off as we bombarded them with information on the important life skill topics of stretching, nutrition, hydration, injury prevention, dealing with the media, life transitions, recovering from training and goal setting.

The athletes were given their chance in the limelight though on Saturday night when they performed a Johnny Young Talent Time-style skit show. It became obvious that the youngsters should stick to what they do best though, and that is SPORT! (Please understand my last statement is made in jest).

All in all, it was a fun and successful weekend and my only wish is that each GAPster took away at least one thing that might help them on their journey to sporting glory.


Below is a bit of a fun way to highlight some of the achievements of the region’s young sporting talent, using the acronym GERALDTON to tell the story.
G
eraldton … small in stature, BIG on sporting talent! Dual Midwest Sports Star of the Year, swimmer
E
mma Hancox, 17, leads the way and is off to trial for a spot at the Australian Institute of Sport in July. Meanwhile fellow water sprite Emily Collins is doing a stellar job of combining the demands of elite sport with year 12 study.
And from swimming to shooting, the Midwest also boasts the country’s third best junior small bore
R
ifle shooter. 16-year-old Zoe Felgate, who already has a host of awards to her name, will compete at the State Championships and State Team trials this year.
A
ussie Rules player Jayden Crowe hopes to play AFL one day, while badminton specialist Kate Glasson is off to Tasmania to represent WA in July. Karate specialist Alex Cassin is a National Karate Championship bronze medallist and soccer lovers Monique Saunders and Jessie Bachshall are off to Singapore at the end of the year for state regionals.
Surf
Lifesavers Caitlin Walker, Rebecca and Natasha Browne and Channa Marsh already have a swag of state and national achievements to their names. And with Town Beach smack bang in the centre of Geraldton, the quartet are in a prime position to keep reaching for their dreams.
D
awson is his last name, Hayden is his first, and he’s a mad-keen cricketer. The 16-year-old is already a member of the Country XI and he shares his passion for the great game with WA All Stars representative Mitchell McAuliffe and sporting all-rounders Cale Millett and Jordan Jupp. Fifteen-year-old Chris Caunce is also multi-talented in the sporting arena, dividing his time between  tennis and football. In contrast, Duncan Cooper knows exactly where his sporting prowess lies, and that is on the hockey field.
T
ouch Rugby player Cody Ferns, made the state 18s squad last year at the tender age of 14. And his dream goal is to play for an NRL team one day.
The ideals of
O
lympism is what all these young guns were encouraged to pursue in order to achieve their sporting dreams.
And they are all well on their way, including basketballers Jack Stone and Josh McAskil who will represent the great state of WA at the

N
ational Championships in Brisbane in July.

The Mid-West star athletes and WAIS rower Amber Bradley

   
 
 
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