PICS: Haigh practices what he preaches at City of Churches
SURF LIFE SAVING: Tannum Sands Surf Life Saving Club athlete Mitchell Haigh is currently in Adelaide at the Lifesaving World Championship.
He is among more than 5000 competitors from across 44 countries.
Haigh has form on the board that includes second place in under-19 Flags at the Queensland State Championships (with a torn hamstring), Age Champion for U19 Flags at the Fastest Man on the Sand series in 2017 and first in U17 Sprints and second in U17 Flags at the Summer of Surf Series held at Surfers Paradise.
Haigh's goals for the event is to just do his best and see what he can achieve. "I just want to go down there and see what I can do," he said.
"I have been training hard and without my coaches, former Tannum Sands club member, Brian Carroll and my dad Steve, I wouldn't be where I am now. They give up so much of their time out of their busy schedules to write programs and train me and I am so grateful.
"(I just want to) give back to the club where I am now training some of the younger 'beachies' from Tannum and passing on some of my skills and knowledge that I have learnt over the years from my coaches."
Haigh began as a nipper at the TSSLSC as an U8 and for the past 11 years, has been building his skills and fitness to become a paid lifeguard for his second season now and has been posted in a variety of locations across the Wide Bay Capricorn Branch area.
TSSLSC captain Nicole Lowe said the club is proud of Haigh's achievements.
"Mitch has been taking every opportunity to hone his speed and agility across the sand recently competing at the North Australian Surf Life Saving Championships in Mackay and at the Queensland Beach Series held at Coolangatta and Mooloolaba in the past month," Lowe said.
"The commitment and dedication Mitch has put into his training to achieve what he has is awesome and he has brilliant support from his family which is really important when you are aiming to be an elite athlete."
Haigh will compete in the U19 beach sprints today and will race in the U19 beach flags tomorrow.
The Lifesaving World Championship is held bi-annually.
FAST FACTS - FLAGS
Beach flags is like a game of musical chairs; the lifesavers start on their bellies facing away from the flags (little batons wedged into the sand).
On the starter's whistle they get up, turn and run then dive for a flag; each round there are less flags until only one is left - grab it and you've won
Flags finals are incredibly fierce
The fastest sand runners put their bodies on the line when they dive into each other and get a face full of sand in pursuit of the last baton.