Almost 250 athletes from 25 surf life saving clubs across the state will tussle for top honours at the NSW Pool Rescue Championships at Woy Woy Peninsula Leisure Centre this weekend July 22-23.
Making its return to the Surf Life Saving NSW surf sports calendar after a two-year COVID-19-forced hiatus, and still one of the organisation’s newest events, the Pool Rescue Championships offers a platform for the state’s best surf swimmers to test their technical skills in a unique setting.
Events are based around speed and the ability to use that speed in a rescue, with obstacles and weighted items in place of real-life patients.
The 200m Super Lifesaver will feature as a premier event of the weekend, consisting of a 75m freestyle swim to recover a submerged manikin, followed by a 50m freestyle to secure a manikin with a rescue tube towed to the finish line.
It will close out the Open competition on Sunday afternoon.
There will also be plenty of action when the Youth category hits the water on Friday and Saturday, featuring future lifesavers from U11s to U15s.
“It’s just great to be back competing in regular surf sports events,” Surf Life Saving NSW Director of Surf Sports, Don van Keimpema, said.
“The Pool Rescue Championships is a really unique event – it’s not like anything else on our calendar and it allows athletes and competitors to really focus on the skills required to save a life.
“It’s not necessarily about being the fastest swimmer or the most athletic competitor, I think that’s what makes it such an interesting event.”
Central Coast hopes include big squads from Shelly Beach, Terrigal and Umina – a traditionally strong pool rescue club.
“I don’t know what I’m looking forward to more – seeing the state’s best lifesavers hitting the water on Sunday in the leadup to the Super Lifesaver or watching the future of the sport on Friday and Saturday when the Youth events are on,” van Keimpema said.
“It’s so important in the off-season to be keeping active and working on our skills.
“The Pool Rescue Championships provides an excellent platform for volunteers to practice their skills in a competitive environment that we find brings out the best in everyone.”
NSW Pool Rescue coaches will also have a watchful eye on the athletes this weekend ahead of naming the NSW Team.
The 2022 NSW Pool Rescue Championships will take place from July 22-24 at Woy Woy Peninsula Leisure Centre.
Media release, Jul 20
Surf Life Saving Central Coast