Ten days ago the 2013 South African Junior Surfing team was training and competing in Durban but this Saturday they take a step up as they depart for Nicaragua and the 2013 Dakine ISA World Junior Surfing Championships which run from Saturday June 8 to Sunday June 16 June.

A week of training, preparation and participation in the Volcom and Quiksilver King of the Groms contests heightened the excitement and anticipation of this unique opportunity to represent their country.

At the Colours Awards ceremony which took place in Durban, Jeffreys Bay surfers Dylan Lightfoot and Gina Smith were named captain and vice captain respectively and they will lead the side as it joins 30 countries from all corners of the World in this celebration of Junior surfing.

Lightfoot will be joined in the U18 Team by recent King of the Groms Champion Diran Zakarian of Melkbosstrand, current U17 SA Champion Benji Brand of Kommetjie and 2012 SA Under 17 Champion Josh Smit of Durban.

The U15 SA Champion Matt McGillivray of Jeffreys Bay heads of the U16 Division quartet and is joined by Jordy Maree of Kalk Bay, Steff Burrows of Stellenbosch and Shane Sykes of Salt Rock.

Nicole Pallet of Durban joins Smith in the U18 Girls Division while Chanelle Botha of Warner Beach and Anoush Zakarian of Melkbosstrand are the two U16 Girls.

Diran and Anoush are siblings and will be the first brother and sister to represent South Africa at this level.

Graham Hynes of Jeffreys Bay, the legendary South African coach who began his career back in 1969, is the Head Coach and former SA Masters Team coach Ant Brodowicz of Margate is his deputy. Surfing South Africa Vice President Johnny Bakker of Port Elizabeth is the Team Manager and Surfing South Africa’s representative at the ISA Annual and Biennial General meetings.

All the team members, except for Benji Brand who left for Nicaragua last week, will leave OR Tambo on South African Airways on Saturday afternoon and arrive in Nicaragua some 36 hours later.

In preparation for the World Championships, South Africa will take on New Zealand on Thursday June 6 in the 11th anniversary of the SANZ Challenge. This traditional international “friendly” was first held at the inaugural ISA World Junior championships in Durban in 2003 and has taken place every year since.

South Africa have won the SANZ encounter since 2009 and will be hoping to bring the unique trophy back home again this time round..

The Dakine ISA World Junior Championships, presented by Billabong, gets under way with the Parade of Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony on Saturday June 8 with the heats starting at two podiums on Sunday June 9. Over 250 surfers from 30 countries are taking part in the 11th edition of this event.

Surfing South Africa (SSA) is the recognized governing body for the sport in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and of the International Surfing Association (ISA).The SA Junior Team is supported by Billabong who have provided them with kit.

Live scoring is available via www.isasurf.org from the start of the event and all results and daily press releases will be posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and on the Surfing SA Facebook page. To follow the SA Junior Team in Nicaragua go to www.surfingsouthafricateams.co.za