Ten days ago Gisborne golden girl Olivia Corrin turned 17. Next month she heads to Poland to wear the black shirt in competition with the world’s best. She talks about what drives her and how Eastland Port is giving her a helping hand.
A Gisborne teen tipped to possibly be New Zealand’s greatest-ever female surf athlete is “golden” her supporters say, but for Olivia Corrin, 2017 is all about the black.
The teenage swimmer and surf lifesaver who turned 17 on 12 June will this year don the black shirt twice.
She’s been selected for the Black Fins open team to represent New Zealand in Poland at July’s surf lifesaving World Games, regarded as the Olympics for sports not included in that event. Then, in November, she heads to Mount Maunganui to compete with the Junior Black Fins in the International Surf Rescue Challenge.
The young athlete’s coach at Midway Surf Lifesaving Club, Matt Sutton, believes Olivia’s achievements to date could be just the tip of the iceberg.
“With her skill, aerobic capacity, attitude, and natural ability she genuinely has the potential to go as far as she wants . . . what she achieves will come down to how badly she wants to be the best.”
“I’ve been coaching her for some years now — and I’ve been involved in surf lifesaving all my life – and I can honestly say that surf lifesaving in New Zealand has never seen a female athlete with the potential that Olivia has.”
With opportunities to make a living while competing limited, the Gisborne Girls’ High School student says sponsors like Eastland Port are her lifeblood.
“It means I can focus on my passion for competition, the rush of getting out there and racing hard for myself and, when I get to wear the black cap, for New Zealand.”
Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum says his team has nothing but admiration for her success to date, and are stoked to be associated with someone they believe is a world champion in the making.
“Olivia continues to impress us with her commitment to training and enthusiasm for all her sports,” he says. “It takes sweat and toil to get where she is today and she’s a great role model for younger local athletes.”
Image: Strike Photography