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After packing the essentials of swimmers, goggles, training equipment and passports, the NSW U18 Pool Rescue Development team even had room in their luggage for optimism as they gathered at Sydney International Airport on Wednesday for their flight to New Zealand.

The nine-strong-team headed across the Tasman where they will compete at the 2017 New Zealand Pool Rescue Championships as part of an annual tour that has done much to accelerate the development of the state’s most talented pool athletes.

After a strong domestic campaign where record numbers competed at the NSW Pool Rescue Championships selectors had the luxury of selecting a strong squad for the tour with many of those making the trip equally as skilled in the surf as they are in the pool.

The youngsters listed on the team sheet hail from across the state with seven clubs being represented. Avoca Beach (Finn Flaherty and Charlie Jeffries) and Cronulla (Philippa Emery and Nathan Ford), both have two athletes apiece, while Manly’s Emily Doyle is one of the more experienced members of the squad and is making her second trip.

Head Coach Rachelle King who is making her third trip at the helm of the side and has significant experience as a competitor is anticipating a successful outing for the team.

“We have an extremely talented bunch of athletes heading off this year and I think as shown in previous teams it’s a great opportunity post times on the board for the upcoming world championships selection and keep their names at the forefront of selectors minds.

“This is my third NSW pool team that I have coached now and I love getting to know the athletes, tweaking their techniques and most of all enjoy the overall experience. The New Zealand Nationals is always a fantastic competition to be a part of and I think the athletes are extremely lucky to have this opportunity,” she said.

Preparations for the tour began in earnest last month with a training camp on the NSW Central Coast, and the athletes will be fine-tuning their techniques in the coming days before hitting the pool and taking on the best that the Kiwis can offer.

The 2017 NSW U18 Pool Rescue Development team will be in action from Friday 13 – Sunday 15 October.

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 12 October 2017