Hannah Williams, Mangawhai’s Queen of the waves, has continued her successful run in surf lifesaving competitions this year, but the run hasn’t ended yet.
Competing in the NZ nationals in March Hannah won gold in the U19 surf swim and the open womens board relay. The ironman was cancelled due to weather, but other events also yielded also another two silver and a bronze medal.
Heading to Maroochydore on the Queensland Coast in April, Hannah collected gold in the U19 womens taplin and 4th in the U19 womens ski race.
She has now been selected as a member of NZ Junior Black Fins, competing at World Rescue 2016 in the Netherlands in September, and recently announced as vice-captain of the team.
The lifesaving World Championships – World Rescue 2016 – will be held September 1-18, 2016 in the cities of Eindhoven and Noordwijk in The Netherlands. Pool and Ocean competitions are on the programme for national teams, interclub teams, masters, surfboat teams and IRB teams.
“Since competing at Worlds two years ago, where I won two individual bronze medals and three team medals, I have been training hard with the sole purpose of returning to the Worlds again this year so I’m stoked to be representing NZ again,” says 17-year-old Hannah who believes the Kiwi team can perform “extremely well.”
However, it’s not all plain sailing. Apart from full-on training, Hannah is in her last year at school studying for Level 3 NCEA plus trying to raise the $10,000 required to get her to Worlds as travel, uniforms and accommodation are all self-funded.
The Lifesaving World Championships are held every two years and attract competitors from over 40 nations.
Hannah has also been named in the Currumbin (Australian) Open Club team for the worlds which follow the Netherlands and, testament to her dedication she was recently named the Northern Region Under-19 Sportswoman Of The Year.
“She works incredibly hard for her results,” says her Mum Anna, “and the support from Mangawhai, the Mangawhai Club and the bowling club has been incredible.”
The Junior Black Fins
Alaynah Bettany (Lyall Bay), Grace Kaihau (Orewa), Hannah Williams (Piha), Jamie Gedye (Waikanae), Libby Bradley (Mt Maunganui), Olivia Corrin (Midway), Hamish Miller (Mt Maunganui), Lewis Clareburt (Lyall Bay), Javon McCallum (Fitzroy), Kane Sefton (Mt Maunganui), Seb Johnson (Sumner), Zac Reid (Fitzroy), Coach: Jonelle Quane, Assistant Coach: Matt Sutton, Manager: Ange Johnston, Physiotherapist: Mike Ellis. n Keep up with the Junior Black Fins on Facebook and Twitter and if you are able to give Hannah a helping hand please go to givealittle.co.nz/cause/gethannahtoworldchamps2016
CHAMP: At just 17, Hannah Williams is already an experienced competitive life saver, and representing New Zealand again at the coming World Rescue 2016 event in the Netherlands.