Finn Van de Nadort

Finn Van de Nadort standing in front of a swimming pool

We caught up with Finn Van de Nadort (above) and his mum, Maricel, in the lead up to the 2019 Australian Pool Life Saving Championships (APLSC), where Finn will be representing WA. Finn was selected as part of the Under 14 Development Squad and will be heading to Sydney for the event with the State Team, Development Squad and Masters athletes.

A member of the Central Aquatic Swimming and Life Saving Club, Finn is an active kid who loves “being around other people and having fun”. Being into sport, Finn initially got into lifesaving “just to have another sport to do after swimming. I do swimming, I did football, athletics, I did soccer ages ago,” he says. 

Starting in lifesaving just over a year ago, Finn has made quick progress and is now set to compete on the national stage. Although this will be Finn’s first national competition, his strong swimming background has him feeling confident ahead of the championships. “I do a lot of swimming competitions and the Junior Life Saving states, where I got first for my age group.”

The APLSC Under 14 event consists of five individual events including an obstacle swim, manikin carry, line throw and manikin tow. Finn’s favourite is “the obs, because I do swimming a lot. The obstacles is where they chuck a few obstacles in the water and you swim I think 200m going back and forth around it.”

Excited for the APLSC, Finn says he thinks he’ll do “pretty good I feel…I hope!” and that it “seems like fun, from all the things that other people have been saying.” His confidence in the water is partly thanks to mum Maricel, who has encouraged her kids to learn swimming and water safety skills from an early age, after experiencing a near-drowning incident as a child herself.

“When I was a kid in the Philippines – I must have been less than five probably – the family went out in a boat. All the family members that were in the boat just decided to get off and they’d forgotten about me, or thought I’d be safe on the boat,” she says. “But I thought ‘they can swim – well, if they can do it, I can as well’ so I actually jumped off the boat…but I couldn’t swim!” 

Although she survived and managed to get back into the boat, the experience shook her. “Ever since then – even though I love the water, love the ocean – I still freak out, you know, if I can’t touch the bottom…but I still like to be amongst it.” 

We wish Finn and all of our state athletes the best of luck at the 2019 APLSC, which are being held from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th January.

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