The Surf Life Saving NSW Pool Rescue Championships brought together almost 450 lifesavers at the weekend with competitors from the Far South Coast and ACT mixing it with 29 other clubs and holding their own.
The weekend’s event at Woy Woy Peninsula Leisure Centre on the Central Coast marked the eleventh year of competition. The State Championships are focused on showcasing the technical skills that are needed to execute a successful water rescue by lifesavers.
With the largest team of 46 athletes, local club Umina Beach SLSC took out the Open overall point score.
“Pool Rescue is a great sport that gives our lifesavers the skills to be able to pick up and carry a patient for a long distance. It’s a great skill-based training over winter and keeps lifesavers fit over the colder months, says Umina Coach Kerry Armstrong-Smith.
National team hopeful, Jame Koch, from Shelley Beach SLSC had a solid weekend in the pool taking home a number of gold medals.
“This weekend was a good practice run in the lead-up to Nationals in a couple of weeks. Making the Australian team in any one of the events would be a great privilege.”
Demonstrating that her surf fitness and skills can be easily transferred to the pool, Emily Doyle of Newport SLSC took out the coveted Female Super Lifesaver title.
In the Masters, it was Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club which took out the overall point score.
Todd Hayward and Steve Corcoran from the Far South Coast – ACT club, Broulee Surfers SLSC brought a team of 10 competitors including seven Nippers and three Masters. In the ocean at home at the moment the water temperature is about 14 degrees, so the pool was a welcome relief!
Broulee punched well above its weight to finish fifth in the overall Masters point score.
“Some of our Nippers train in Canberra and Broulee so this is a great way to mix up training routines and keep everyone active in the off-season,” Steve says.
“Doing obstacles and manikin rescues teaches them good lifesaving skills so that when they get to the beach they’re a lot stronger and have a lot more power when they get in the surf.
“We’ve got a core body of people who know how to train for Pool Rescue now and the club has pitched in to help us buy manikins and bricks so we can build our team and come back in force next year.”
Click play to see what these guys can do…
The Youth division (Under 11s – Under 14s) was hotly contested with the young guns and future surf lifesavers showing their amazing rescue capabilities and fitness at a young age.
It was Terrigal SLSC who took out the overall Youth point score for 2019 for the third year running.
Terrigal’s Linda Redfern, who competed in the Masters events on the weekend, says she never imagined that opportunities like this would come from her son joining the club as a Nipper several years ago.
“The kids have been training hard but also having a lot of fun,” she says.
“We love coming to these events, especially as a team. The kids meet people from all over and the friendships that you form and that the kids form are amazing.”
Check the Surf Live Saving NSW website for full results.
The Australian Championships will be held August 9 to 11 at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Southport.