Yamba Surf Life Saving Club nipper Kalani Ives storms home to clinch the Under 11 Ironwoman race at the Yamba club's nippers carnival on Sunday, November 6, 2016.
Yamba Surf Life Saving Club nipper Kalani Ives storms home to clinch the Under 11 Ironwoman race at the Yamba club's nippers carnival on Sunday, November 6, 2016. Matthew Elkerton

Elabassi, Ives hand-picked for Far North Coast Branch

SURF LIFESAVING: TWO of Yamba's most successful nippers are preparing to represent their local club in the Far North Coast branch team.

Kalani Ives and Malik Elabassi have been hand-picked by a panel of selectors to compete in the under-12s for the regional team, which is comprised of 36 competitors from ten surf life saving clubs from Yamba to Fingal Heads.

In making the team, Malik will also be following in the footsteps of his brother Jordan, who represented the branch in the under 14s category last year.

Yamba SLSC's junior coordinator Danielle Connelly said the whole club was proud of the nippers, who are already two of the club's top competitors.

Both have worked hard to achieve their goals by putting plenty of time into squad training and swimming laps.

"Kalani especially is involved in ocean swims and competes in a wide range of competitions; she's quite the pocket rocket,” Ms Connelly said.

"They're not only great competitors but... helpful with other members of the club and share their knowledge, and their parents help out too.”

The junior coordinator said that while Malik and Kalani were among a wider group of local nippers who have shown a lot of promise, she was still amazed at their bravery and dedication to aquatic surf sports.

"Their energy and the power they show in the water is a force to be reckoned with,” she said.

"They are very determined kids and the whole club is immensely proud of them.”

Following their selection, the pair will now step up their game to compete in the NSW Interbranch Championships next month.

The carnival, at The Lakes on the Central Coast, will pit each of the 11 representative teams from the Queensland border to the Victorian border against each other, from December 10-11.

Last year, the Far North Coast branch ended the competition in fifth place.

Kalani's mum Jasmin Ives said her daughter was happy to be selected in the team, and excited to see her friends from across NSW.

"I think that's the main thing; catching up with her friends,” Ms Ives said.



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