Paige rides wave of success at North Aussies
SURF LIFE SAVING: Paige Jones has put in a memorable performance in her first-ever North Australian Championships.
The 10-year-old from the Yeppoon Surf Life Saving Club was crowned the under-11 age champion after starring in the surf and on the sand at Mackay's Harrup Beach.
She was among about 500 lifesavers from Port Douglas to Hervey Bay who took part in the three-day championships.
Paige's Yeppoon teammates Jack Newton and Caitlyn Goudie also shone, rewarded for their efforts with selection in the Queensland Country team to compete at the inter-branch carnival on the Gold Coast on November 25.
Paige clearly didn't suffer any stage fright in her first major event.
She reigned supreme in the 1km beach run, 100m beach sprint, surf board race and surf board rescue with Edie Hemson and came third in the surf swim on her way to winning the title.
"I was really nervous but excited about competing and was happy with how I went,” the youngster said.
A talented and multi-skilled athlete as well, Paige has been involved in surf life saving for four years, following her older sister Chelsea into the sport.
"I like the water events, probably because I'm good at them,” she said.
"I really want to go to the nationals for surf life saving like my sister did.”
Mum Kylie was in Mackay to witness Paige's success.
"She was amazing, it was such a big carnival but she took it all in her stride. I was just so proud of her,” she said.
"She had just come back from the state athletics championships before she went to Mackay so I think that might have helped with her beach events.”
Kylie believes that what helped Paige get ahead in surf life saving at such a young age was her early involvement.
"She was always there when we took Chelsea to training. She could either sit on the beach or participate and she chose to participate.
"She's had a big year going to states for cross country and athletics and also with her surf life saving.
"She hasn't stopped but she's keen as mustard.”