NSW Lifesavers Hunting Pool Glory

The bright-eyed enthusiasm and fearlessness of youth will combine with the experience of old hands this weekend as New South Wales seeks glory at the Interstate Pool Rescue Championships on the Gold Coast.

Pool Rescue is a highly technical sport and is an opportunity for both patrolling lifesavers and those who are approaching their senior nipper years, to hone their skills over the colder months.

For the first time, the competition is being held as a stand-alone event with the young Blues confident of putting in a strong performance against their interstate rivals.

They are hopeful of emulating the first-place position that they achieved in 2014 by a lone-point when the pool championships were held as part of the beach and surf Interstate event.

Coach Andrew Bowden feels the selectors have chosen a well balanced team.

“We’ve got a lot of up-and-coming athletes who have represented Australia in various competitions, and I think some of the youngsters certainly have that potential to do so in the future as well.

“The leadership will start from the top – our team captains Tim Schofield and Rachelle King from Terrigal SLSC, though young, are both highly experienced having represented Australia on the world stage,” Bowden said.

“I don’t think the new stand-alone-structure will impact the way we prepare for the event. As a combined Interstate team we performed strongly in the pool, but we are expecting a tough competition. Queensland will be very strong at home as you would expect, but Victoria has a number of promising young athletes.”

The coach is entering his first campaign in charge and admits to feeling a combination of both nerves and excitement as the competition looms.

“I was assistant coach back in 2011, but this is my first time as head coach. I am really looking forward to the challenge. I’m probably more nervous now than when I was a competitor, but I am really enjoying the experience and I love seeing the athletes improve their skills and perform strongly,” Bowden said.

Some of the events that will be contested are individual races such as obstacle races, manikin carry and tow (with and without fins), and team relay events such as the 4x 50m Medley Relay and the 4x25m Manikin Relay.

One of the individual highlights on the program is the ‘200m Super Lifesaver’ which involves a 75m freestyle swim, to recover a submerged manikin followed by 50m freestyle to secure a manikin with a rescue tube to tow to the finish line. In the team events, the All Age Relays (Male and Female) will be just as exciting.

“I think the competition will be won in the relays and the individual events will take care of themselves. It’s a highly technical sport – we just need to get our skills up and swim well and fast. That’s the plan,” Bowden said.

The NSW team held a familiarisation camp in Sydney last weekend and will travel to the Gold Coast to fine-tune their preparations ahead of the Interstate and Australian Championships, which will be held concurrently from 7-9 August.

Further information about the event including live results can be found Here

NSW Pool Rescue State Team:

Tim Schofield (Captain) - Terrigal
Rachelle King (Captain) – Terrigal
Andrew Bowden – Bronte
Wallace Eggleton - Bronte
Alex Clarke – Elouera
Brittany Stoker – Wanda
Samantha King – Elouera
Daniel Collins – Redhead
Lachlan Moyle - North Cronulla
Ela Heiniger – Byron Bay
Gabrielle Grieves – Caves Beach
Brad Woodward – Shelly Beach
Callum Lowe-Griffiths – Queenscliff
Jemma Smith – Umina
Rachel Wood – Umina
Matthew Sperring – Warilla-Barrack Point
Chris King – Elouera
Keeley Booth – Avoca Beach
Mimosa Henderson – Umina
Jett Garland – North Cronulla
Lochlan Jonquieres - Terrigal
Madeleine Bakker – Warilla-Barrack Point
Bronte Smith – Umina

Team Management:

Head Coach: Andrew Bowden - Bronte
Team Manager: Max Gonzalez - Bronte

The 2015 Interstate and Australian Championships will be held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on August 7-9.

Tue 4 Aug 2015