Not even a stress fracture in his leg just six weeks before the Water Ski Racing World Championships last year was going to stop Junior Sportstar of the Year Lloyd Woolman from competing at the titles.By Geordie Cowan
The 16-year-old eventually went on to win a silver medal competing with the Australian under 16 team behind Thundernuts at the championships.
‘‘(The injury) was a big setback and I didn’t know whether I was going to race,’’ he said.
‘‘Towards the world’s I had to have three weeks off, so I wasn’t allowed to ski before it.
‘‘But I went out on a run the weekend before and it all went well, so it was a confidence booster.’’
The rest, as they say, is history, as Lloyd finished the titles with a flourish, needing to beat the third-placed skier by 55 seconds and he did it with 15 seconds to spare to grab second spot.
Competing against skiers from New Zealand, the US and Great Britain, Lloyd also won a gold medal at the event due to the Australian team’s domination as a whole.
Recording such positive results at the world championships encouraged him to maintain his work ethic and motivation in the sport, Lloyd said.
‘‘All the hard work paid off and I achieved what I wanted to achieve,’’ he said.
‘‘The experience of it all and being able to (compete against) other people from overseas and really get the atmosphere of it all, skiing for Australia, was great.
‘‘It makes you want to push harder and get into the next world’s event and achieve bigger goals.’’
Lloyd captured the under 16 and under 19 Victorian Water Ski titles throughout the year, and finished third in the senior men’s event, while he also won the Ski Racing Victoria Points Score Championships in under 16s.
To cap the season off, he was named the most improved under 19 skier of the year for Victoria.
This year has already started well for the Echuca resident, winning the under 16 social and expert classes at the Club Marine Southern 80 earlier this month and he hopes to do well in the river events at Robinvale and Mildura.
Lloyd thanked many people who helped him throughout the year, including his parents, brother Peter, driver Cam Cox, observers Brett Dominguez and Brian Griffin, his girlfriend Maddie, Steve Morley and his sister Sophie, among others.
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