Brett Wortman

Bull feels more at home in big league Game for the Olympics

FOR the moment, the gaze of Alexandra Headland young gun Alyssa Bull is firmly fixed on the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series, but she says she also has dreams of competing at the 2020 Olympics.

After a mixed opening two rounds of the series in Western Australia a fortnight ago, 18-year-old Bull (pictured) needs to keep her hopes alive of a top-six series finish when she competes at Newcastle this weekend.

Following the third, fourth and fifth rounds this Saturday and Sunday, there is a large gap to the series final at Coolum in February, and Bull will use the break to devote more time to her other love, kayaking.

Having represented Australia this year at the Under-23 Canoe Sprint World Championships in Canada, she is weighing up whether to pursue the sport full-time.

Bull trains on the Coast under highly respected kayaking coaches Shane Dalziel and Chris Alagaich and occasionally links with Anna Wood at the Australian Institute of Sport on the Gold Coast.

After graduating from high school this year, Bull is taking the next 12 months off to pursue her sporting interests.

For the moment she said her priority was surf lifesaving, but the lure of an Olympics appearance was too great to ignore and she would be forced to make a decision at some point.

"Right now my priority is surf," she said.

"Once I've finished the season, I'll do a few more kayak events and attend at a few regattas.

"After Newcastle I'll have a few more kayak sessions and hopefully make another (Australian) team.

"I would like to do both. I've got the whole year off studying next year, which will give me time to think about what I want to do.

"It (the 2016 Olympics) is probably a bit too soon in the future, but maybe 2020 is more realistic for me."

"The Olympics will play a big part in the decision of what sport I want to do," Bull said.

Going into the third round of the Nutri-Grain Series, Bull sits in 10th spot after finishing 15th and fifth at Margaret River. Her aim for the season is to finish inside the top six and earn automatic qualification for the 2014-15 series.

In the last edition of the series, her first, Bull managed a remarkable breakthrough victory at Noosa.

When it came time to face up to monstrous three-metre waves at Western Australia two weeks ago, she said she held no fear - an indication of her growing confidence.

"It (Perth) was the first time that I hadn't felt scared facing big waves, which is a bit of a win for me," she said.

"I think I just have a bit more confidence after last year. I don't really know why. I think I've just realised I can do it."

Bushfire reported near Glen Esk

Bushfire reported near Glen Esk

People in the area may be affected by smoke

Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

The group planted 35 trees for National Tree Day earlier this year.

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