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Earlier this week, the NSW U18 Pool Rescue Development team returned from their foray across the Tasman with plenty of stories to tell and a renewed appreciation for the challenges of taking their sporting performances to the next level.

The nine-strong-team competed at the 2017 New Zealand Pool Rescue Championships in Auckland last weekend as part of an annual tour which gives these emerging athletes their first real taste of international competition.

Ultimately the team would return home with seven medals – two gold, three silver, and two bronze from the three-day competition which was a positive return for these talented teenagers.

A key focus for the development tour is to encourage the athletes to buy into a united team ethos, and this year’s charges certainly did that with six of the medals coming directly from relay events.

Emily Doyle, Chantal Luxton, Bronte Smith, and Phillipa Emery had a highly successful competition as they secured gold in the U19 Women’s Manikin Relay and a further two silver medals in the Obstacle and Medley Relays.

In the Women’s U19 Line Throw event Emily Doyle and Bronte Smith teamed up in the Line Throw Event where they again got to stand on the podium with a well-deserved silver medal for the fourth time of the weekend.

There was more gold to come for NSW as the team’s management Rachelle King, Ela Heiniger, Blake McCrindle were joined by Finn Flaherty in the Open Competition to finish first past the post in the Mixed Medley.

Finn joined his U19 teammates Bailey Proud, Nathan Ford, and Jett Garland to take bronze in the Obstacle Relay, while Bailey Proud (Redhead SLSC) picked up the lone individual medal finishing with bronze in the U19s 50 Metres Fin race.

In 2016, New Zealand was crowned the best nation overall at the World Lifesaving Championships and their Pool Rescue athletes played a key role in that success, so to get the opportunity to see their skills first-hand was an exciting one for the young blues.

“They learnt a lot from watching the best pool rescue athletes from Australia and New Zealand with the wealth of experience of head coach Rachelle King and Assistant Manager, Ela Heiniger an extra bonus,” said Team Manager Blake McCrindle.

“The young team did really well participating in, what was for most of them, their first international competition and I am sure that having this race practice will hopefully lead to further success in the future,” he added.

Head coach Rachelle King agreed believing the encouraging performances from the young team bodes well for the strength and health of the sport domestically.

“SLSNZ hosted a perfectly run nationals competition where all 9 NSW athletes were able to achieve numerous personal best times, a number of athletes walked away with a bunch of medals and many posted outstanding times throughout the competition.

“It was a pleasure to travel with and lead this team who are all extremely talented athletes, and will be competing for spots on future representative teams,” King enthused.

2017 NSW Pool Rescue Development Team:

Chantal Luxton - Cudgen Headland SLSC

Philippa Emery - Cronulla SLSC

Bailey Proud - Redhead SLSC

Finn Flaherty - Avoca Beach SLSC

Emily Doyle - Manly LSC

Nathan Ford - Cronulla SLSC

Bronte Smith - Umina Beach SLSC

Charlie Jeffries- Avoca Beach SLSC

Jett Garland - North Cronulla SLSC

Team Management:

Head Coach – Rachelle King

Team Manager - Blake McCrindle

Assistant Team Manager - Ela Heiniger


Thursday 19 October 2017