Ellia Smith back at Coolum Beach after competing in the Aussie Titles.
Ellia Smith back at Coolum Beach after competing in the Aussie Titles.

Success for surfing star at junior titles

COOLUM surfer Ellia Smith said she was competing with a lot of confidence after an impressive performance at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles.

The 16-year-old, who has just returned from Western Australia, finished fourth in the under 18 junior women's competition and second in the Junior Women's Allstars with teammate Holly Williams.

"It feels really good and it makes me have a lot of confidence for the upcoming years," she said.

"I just love the sport, so making a career out of it would be an awesome goal and I think I'm going along the right track."

Ocean Performance Centre owner and strength and conditioning coach Kerry Keightley said the Sunshine Beach State High School student was "naturally evolving as an athlete".

"She is pretty much a natural-born competitor and someone who is very aware of herself, so being aware of herself she can adapt and change that in different conditions," he said.

"But Ellia will continue to work on herself even if she's got five world titles under her belt and that's what's special about Ellia, she is always looking for ways to better herself whether that's nutrition, training, relaxation, recovery or skill-based stuff, she is always looking to improve herself."

Keightley said Smith, who had been surfing since she was six years old, had a "bright future".

"Ellia is just loving the journey and loving every moment of it and that's just a positive thing when we look at the long-term development of her," he said.

"When she switches on, she is a very tenacious competitor but afterwards she can switch off and really just enjoys the whole journey of things and in my experience, they are the athletes that go the distance.

"They've got the talent and the skills, but they also just love the journey and I think she is going to do some amazing things in the future.

"She isn't one of the ones that I will be worried about burning out when she gets to 18."

The young talent also claimed a top-five result in the under-16 girls division at the World Junior Championships recently held at California and was looking forward to compeiting in the Boost Mobile Pro, after winning a wildcard entry at the Queensland titles in September.


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