It keeps getting better?
By TONY WHITE
YAMBA Surf Life Saving Club's outstanding competitor Jacob Lollback has been nominated for a prestigious award at the Surf Life Saving NSW 2005-06 Awards of Excellence next month.
The 17-year-old has been nominated for Country Athlete of the Year, one of 16 awards to be announced at a gala function at the Swiss Grand Hotel, Bondi Beach, on May 6.
Lollback was not eligible for the Junior Athlete of the Year, as the age limit has been changed.
It is the first occasion the star performer has been nominated for an award at the end- of-season presentation.
"This has been a spectacular season for me," Lollback, with a swag of titles and accreditations to his name said.
"If you'd asked me at the beginning of the season if it was going to be this good I would have not believed it.
"I'm really happy because all the goals I set myself I achieved and there were plenty other results that were bonuses."
Earlier this year Lollback's achievements were publicly recognised when he won the 2005 Daily Examiner Sports Star of the Year Award.
While the surf life saving competition season is all but in abeyance, Lollback still has several commitments.
From Friday to Sunday this weekend, Lollback and fellow Yamba competitor Gemma Moody, both members of the North Coast Academy Of Sport lifesaving program, will join other North Coast athletes for a training camp with a difference at Lennox Heads.
The athletes will be put through a rigorous introduction to a lifesaving and competitive skill very popular in Europe, but in its infancy in Australia.
"Overseas a lot of countries have obstacle races and rope throwing in stillwater pools," Lollback said.
"The obstacle course is in a 50 metre pool and every 12.5 metres you have to dive under a net. The races are normally over 200m.
"And they have rope throws where you throw out a rope 10 metres to a patient and have to pull him in.
"It is a real big thing overseas and every time we compete over there, the Europeans give us a towelling. Surf Life Saving Australia has made it one of their priorities to improve our skill and technique so we can compete better.
"It's fun and improves your overall life saving skills."
In May Lollback will be joined by former Yamba star Hugh Dougherty, now based on the Gold Coast, for a national high performance training camp on the Gold Coast.
He is also looking to tackle the Gold Coast Marathon (run) in July and have a second crack at the arduous Coolangatta Gold later in the year.
"It all depends on if I can juggle the HSC and get in enough training to compete in the Coolangatta Gold," Lollback said.
"I had a go last year in the Under-17s but I'll be in the Under-19s this year on a modi- fied course."