Alexandra Headland lifesaver Tayla Halliday has qualified for the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series. Picture: Surf Life Saving Australia
Alexandra Headland lifesaver Tayla Halliday has qualified for the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series. Picture: Surf Life Saving Australia

Alex Surf Club’s incredible iron feat

Alexandra Headland coach Jack Hansen has praised culture and cohesion behind an impressive bevy of his athletes earning spots on the elite Nutri-Grain iron series.

Not only are they set to be the sole Sunshine Coast club in this year's male or female competition but will have five lifesavers in the mix.

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Alex Head talents Cooper Williams, Tayla Halliday and Emma Woods earned their places in the famous series after impressing in the qualifying rounds at Kingscliff over the weekend.

They'll now join teammates Tiarrn Raymond and Lana Rogers who had already secured their spots for the six round event after finishing inside the top 10 last season.

Alexandra Headland lifesaver Cooper Williams at the Nutri-Grain qualifying round. Picture: Surf Life Saving Australia
Alexandra Headland lifesaver Cooper Williams at the Nutri-Grain qualifying round. Picture: Surf Life Saving Australia

"It's very exciting for us to have five people in there and at this stage we are the only club on the Coast with anyone in the series," head coach Hansen said.

"The nippers will be behind them and the whole club will be behind them but more than anything it'd be great to have the whole Sunshine Coast to be behind them as well."

He not only credited hard work but mindset and environment behind the quintet's success.

"We're big on trying to grow our own athletes and bring people through and having Tayla and Emma come through the nipper ranks here at Alex to then make the (Nutri-Grain) series is very exciting," he said.

"Just having a good group of people around and having a very supportive and great culture is what sets us apart from most areas and most other clubs.

"Our guys and girls race for themselves but they certainly race well for each other and we've seen that through the summer of surf in team events and things like that."

 

Alexandra Headland lifesaver Tayla Halliday. Picture: Surf Life Saving Australia
Alexandra Headland lifesaver Tayla Halliday. Picture: Surf Life Saving Australia

Halliday, who turns 18 this week, will be one of the youngest in the series but she is ready to make the most of it.

"Last year missing out (on qualification) by one point was pretty devastating but to have secured a spot in this year's series is really exciting," she said.

"I really just want to challenge myself against the older girls and really looking forward to racing girls with a lot more experience than me and seeing what I can do."

Having four teammates also on the Nutri-Grain stage was set to be a big boost.

Alexandra Headland lifesaver Emma Woods at the Nutri-Grain qualifying round. Picture: Surf Life Saving Australia
Alexandra Headland lifesaver Emma Woods at the Nutri-Grain qualifying round. Picture: Surf Life Saving Australia

"Absolutely (it will help)," she said.

"It shows that we've got quality here at Alex and a really good culture that's helping us get where we need to be to be racing the best in the sport.

"To have four girls and one boy is incredible and … it definitely shows that we've got strength here and what we're doing is working."

The dates and locations for the 2020/21 Nutri-Grain Ironman and Ironwoman Series are as

follows:

-Round 1-2 - Nutri-Grain Series - 19-20 December 2020 - Kingscliff, NSW

-Round 3-4 - Nutri-Grain Series - 16-17 January 2021 - North Cronulla, NSW

-Round 5-6 (FINAL) - Nutri-Grain Series - 13-14 February 2021 - Kurrawa, QLD


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