Central Coast clubs shine in pool rescue championships

The Shelly Beach SLSC team.

Nearly 250 surf club athletes put their skills to the test at the 2022 Surf Life Saving NSW Pool Rescue Championships at the Peninsula Leisure Centre in Woy Woy from July 22 to 24.

Three days of fierce but friendly competition saw plenty of Central Coast surf life saving clubs reach the top five.

Shelly Beach Surf Life Saving Club’s publicity officer and co-coach Dan Kingsley said it was good to be back at the championships after the last two years of cancellations due to COVID-19.

“We had a strong team of 22 attend, which was awesome, and we had some amazing results across all age groups over the three days,” Kingsley said.

“Zach Adams, Riley Wait and Mikaela Williams-Potts had some solid individual results, and we were really strong in the Under 14’s and 15’s relays, picking up medals in every relay.

“We won all three relays in the Male Opens, beating bigger clubs from Bondi and Terrigal and some strong performances from club legend Rodney Hulls and debutant Michael Hyslop.”

As well as being co-coach and team manager, Kingsley competed in the Masters category, finishing with a great result.

All up, Shelly Beach SLSC won medals in all three parts of the carnival and finished eighth in the Youth category, fourth in Opens and first in Masters.

Kingsley said pool rescue taught skills that needed to be performed under pressure, simulating scenarios that could happen in an actual ocean rescue situation.

“One of the challenges consisted of a 75-metre freestyle swim to recover a submerged manikin, followed by a 50-metre freestyle to secure a manikin with a rescue tube towed to the finish line,” he said.

“It’s about speed and performing rescue skills under pressure…it’s also good for surf clubs because it keeps our younger kids connected to the club year-round, not just in the summer.

“Being rescue ready is about making sure that members aren’t coming in to summer rusty on their skills and training.”

Umina SLSC, fielding the largest team from the most nearby surf club, claimed silver on the overall point score.

Terrigal SLSC finished as runners-up in both the Opens and Masters overall point score results.

Hayley McMahon

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