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Taranaki athletes in national surf lifesaving squads

Taranaki athletes in national surf lifesaving squads

Taranaki athletes in national surf lifesaving squads

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Fitzroy's Zac Reid and East End's Claudia Kelly have been included in the Junior Black Fins squad to represent New Zealand at the 2017 International Surf Rescue Challenge. 

The beach competition, which is held every two years, is a gathering of the world's top lifesavers and originally started in 1939 as the Trans-Tasman Series between Australia and New Zealand.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand will host the 2017 challenge at Mount Maunganui from November 30 to December 3.

Eight national open teams and five youth national teams are confirmed to take part including Australia, Great Britain, South Africa, USA, Canada, France and Japan.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Sport Manager Mike Lord said the challenge was a major event on the high performance campaign calendar.

"It is an important part of testing our beach athletes on an international stage as part of our preparations for the 2018 Lifesaving World Championships where New Zealand will be looking to take the title for the fourth consecutive time, he said.

"The event will be the first time the Black Fins have competed in New Zealand since 2011, which is also something to look forward to."

Taranaki junior sportswoman of the year Olivia Eaton, who competes for Mt Maunganui, has been named in the New Zealand Black Fins.

The youth team sees a mixture of returning athletes and newcomers.

Libby Bradley, Reid and Olivia Corrin recently represented New Zealand with the youth team at the 2016 World Lifesaving Championships.

Meanwhile, Fitzroy's Javon McCallum and Kelly been named in the New Zealand squad for the 2017 Sanyo Cup in Japan in June.

The Sanyo Cup includes teams from Australia, the United States, Great Britain, Netherlands, South Africa, Hong Kong and Japan.

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