Farmer Auto Village

Chelsea Maples


Emblazoned on the driver's door is:

Goals: world beach sprint champion, world board race champion, represent New Zealand in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

Heady stuff for the 19 year old. And she is prepared to make sacrifices to get there.

"We've done a deal that she won't have children until she is 30 or until she reaches these goals," laughs her coach John Bryant."

The car has been provided by Farmer Autovillage. John says he hopes other sponsors will come on board to help Chelsea who was the first person to win both Australian and New Zealand open beach sprint titles as a 17-year-old.

"The aim is to get Chelsea set up for the next three or four years with the target of the 2010 worlds in board, sprints and flags - and beyond that the Commonwealth and Olympic games on the track," says coach John Bryant.

While in Australia last year, Chelsea had a track try-out at the USA Downunder meet winning the under 19 400m and running in the under 19 200m and 100m.

"That was the first track event she'd been to and with just six weeks preparation was running around 58-59 seconds for the 400m," says John.

While there are differences in technique between track and beach sprinting, John and Chelsea believe the assistance she is getting with track work from Dean Wise will transfer to her surf lifesaving efforts.

Chelsea believes she has yet to reach her peak.

"We have been developing my first major goals and once I have achieved them there will be more to achieve," she says.

"A lot of kids are pushed really hard at a young age but I think they need to develop slowly and learn to be a good loser because if you don't learn how to lose, won't learn to win," says John. Chelsea agrees.

"When you lose you have to take the positives out of it, critique it and come out of it more positive," she says.

She even managed to see the positive side of breaking a leg playing football in 2007. She recovered to take her place in the International Surf Challenge in Sydney and then perform well enough to be named in the New Zealand team for the 2008 worlds in Germany.

"I gained strength from it because I put myself through a lot to get there," she says.

After focussing on board technique last winter and sprint technique this, John and Chelsea are looking at everything coming together in 2009-10.

The goal is to dominate the beach sprint, board race and beach flags in New Zealand to make herself an automatic choice for the worlds in Egypt.

The New Zealand championships in March are an obvious target for success and Chelsea will then hot foot it over to Australia for the Australian titles on the Gold Coast where she spent five weeks last summer competing in the Ocean Assault series..

"It will be quite demanding, but I am used to it now."

Studying for a Bachelor of Sports Science degree and training four or five hours a day leaves little or no time to get even a part time job.

"At the end of the day it's the little things four or five sponsors could do to look after her could make all the difference," says John.

Farmer Autovillage managing director Mike Farmers says although the company traditionally supports organisations rather than individuals, he was particularly impressed with the way Chelsea conducted herself and her goals and vision.

"Personally I think she has a massive future and it is important that we retain as many of these people in Tauranga as possible."