Young Blues Ready To Take On Kiwis

A group of the state’s most talented teenage pool rescue athletes have left Australian shores today bound for New Zealand where they will put their skills to the test against some of the Kiwi’s finest.

The group are all aged Under 18 and have been selected for the team based on their performances during the domestic pool season. Many of them are also accomplished summer surf sport competitors and will be relishing the chance to compete in the highly technical sport of pool rescue.

During their five-day Tasman Tour the team will be put through their paces at training and will compete at the New Zealand Pool Championships from Friday.

Surf Life Saving NSW caught up with the team’s coach Rachelle King ahead of the team’s departure who shared her thoughts on the potential of this state team and her ambitions as she makes the transition from athlete to coach.

Congratulations Rachelle on being selected as coach of the NSW Development Pool Rescue Team. Are you excited to be taking on the challenges that loom on this tour?

This is actually my second tour to New Zealand as a coach of the NSW development Pool Rescue team and I am super excited to take on the challenge. As an athlete who has competed in the sport for many years I know what is expected by the coach, and I hope to be able to use that experience.

This year we have all new faces on the team and they are very talented young athletes. After seeing them compete at the Australian championships back in August I know they’ll be up for a fight in New Zealand.

Is coaching something you are looking to do more of or do you still intend competing in the short to medium term?

I still love and enjoy competing in surf life saving both in the pool events and in the surf but as I’ve come to realise the past few months work commitments are starting to take priority.

I am hoping to compete for another year or two, and my goal is to race at the next World Interclub Championships which will be held in the Netherlands in 2016.

I have found the pathway of coaching to be a way I can still stay involved in the sport and still reap the rewards of hard work.

It’s a talented squad, how do you think they will handle the tour?

All the athletes on the team have proved that they are ready for that next level of racing internationally. I think the tour will provide an invaluable opportunity for all the athletes to post new personal bests and learn from some of the world’s leading athletes in Pool Lifesaving.

For many of them this will be their first major international meet and I’m super pumped to be guiding them along their journey.

Have you set any goals for the team to achieve?

All of our athletes are ranked in the top five of their respective age groups in Australia and there performances at the NSW and Australian Championships were really encouraging.

My goal for them would be to continue to perform well and push for selection in the next Interstate Team. A few of them are close to forcing their way into contention for the Youth World Lifesaving team, so for those competitors I believe racing at this competition will give them an opportunity to improve both their times and rankings.

The tour has always provided athletes with the right pathway in improving and developing their skills and race experiences, and I think everyone is ready to perform strongly.

As a highly experienced competitor do you think this will influence your coaching methods?

I believe having being a competitor in the sport plays a huge role in my coaching methods. I know the ins and outs of every race as I have raced these races hundreds of times before. I found relating to my own personal experiences allows me to relate better to the athletes and their needs.

Pool Rescue is a highly technical sport where one minor mistake can cost you the whole race. Having raced so many national and international meets will only strengthen my coaching skills and further influence the athletes in a positive way.

Any final thoughts on the tour?

From chatting to the athletes the past couple of weeks everyone seems really pumped to get over there and swim. I can’t wait to have our first training session on Thursday where we will practice our final relay changeovers and complete some light swim and skill based training.

Thanks to everyone at SLSNSW for providing both management and all the athletes with the opportunity to partake in such an awesome tour.

2015 NSW Pool Rescue Development Team

Corey Fletcher – Terrigal
Nathan Clarke – Wanda
Ethan Garland – North Cronulla
Callum Lowe-Griffiths – Queenscliff
Jy Timperley – Byron Bay
Lachlan Stacker-Galea – Elouera
Jemma Smith – Umina
Rachel Wood – Umina
Samantha King – Elouera
Gabrielle Kay – Bryon Bay
Brittany Stoker – Wanda
Philippa Emery - Cronulla

Team Management:

Head Coach: Rachelle King - Terrigal
Team Manager: Don Van Keimpema – Shelly Beach
Team Official: Wayne Druery – Cronulla

Photograph - The NSW Pool Rescue Development team departs Sydney on Wednesday 29 September 2015

Wed 30 Sep 2015