LIFE is running hard at Daniel Williams – and that’s just the way he likes it.
For a lad still at primary – The Red School at Nambucca Heads – he’s already gained an impressive rap sheet, at sport and as a leader.
Though it took him a bit to realise that he’s now in Year 6 rather than 5 with the start of the school year.
No biggie – Daniel was still floating after shredding at the Surf Life Saving Country Championships at Kingscliff Beach at the weekend.
This competition was open to kids and adults from across the State bar Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast – so the talent pool was as strong as it was daunted by the conditions.
Officially, Surf Life Saving NSW described the scene as “tough” – for all competitors.
In reality, the ocean was at its nastiest. Choppy, heaving, and those darn pretty bluebottles – en masse.
Daniel told the Guardian he had a tactic to deal with the latter in the surf race – albeit a botched one.
“I could see them starting to appear and there were three guys in front of me so I thought I’ll just swim behind them – but it didn’t work and I ended up with 10 stings,” Daniel said.
Undeterred, he went on to finish third – one of many medals snagged at the carnival.
For the record (U12s):
Beach sprint 7th
Surf race 3rd
Board final 7th
Flags “about 13th”.
And the crowning glory … first, baby, in the 1km beach run.
Not that the run victory should be an out of the water surprise. Daniel has had the gold swinging from his neck before in this event and is a lickety-split middle distance runner.
The conditions at Kingscliff tested hearts as much as they did hamstrings.
“I had two of my friends quit because of the bluebottles. The sting I got around the neck was bad but when we finished they gave us ice and then hot showers,” Daniel said.
“There were just so many of them.”
And there’s no rest for the bullish – as Daniel sets sail this weekend for the Branch Championships and the Trial Bay Triathlon.
Mum Michelle, a teacher at Nambucca Heads High, and dad Keith Williams, a senior officer at the shire council, are duly proud of their sports machine and Daniel’s siblings.
“There’s not much to do in Nambucca so why not go to the beach and enjoy. It’s the place to be in the water on a day like this,” Michelle said as she headed down to join her sons in the surf at Main Beach.
One new thing to ‘do’ is running – and Daniel and others are part of a group called Nambucca Scurry Squad (check their Facebook page if you’d like to head along for a jog).
But make sure you say g’day to Daniel at the start of the run, because even with your scurry on – that’s the last you’ll see of him until the finish.