Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s first national event for the season kicks off this weekend with the single largest pool event in the country, The State New Zealand Pool Championships.
The national champs for pool rescue events, features events ranging from manikin carries and obstacles to line throw and rescue medleys.
Now in its 10th year, the competition has gone from strength to strength and has the reputation of close exciting racing. This year records are expected to be broken especially by some of the competing Olympians.
Athletes from the Australian Worlds team will be here to compete against New Zealand Worlds athletes in a last minute meet before they go head-to-head at the World Life Saving Championships next month in Adelaide.
The event features both young and old with the largest age group of competitors being under 16, though to Masters competitors and even senior citizens with this year’s oldest competitor aged 74.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand is excited to see the continual growth and interest in the Pool Championships at both a National and Regional level.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Event Manager Scott Roberts says the pool champs is a good, fun event with a great dynamic which is why people continue to come each year. “It’s the first national event of the season and it’s a perfect way to kick it off,” he says.
The State New Zealand Pool Championships is being held at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie from October 5-7.
The competition kicks off at lunchtime on Friday with the Under 11 Men’s 50m Swim with Fins.
Visit sport.surflifesaving.org.nz/nzpoolchamps for more information and results.
Additional Information: Pool Champs for Dummies
There are a range of reasons why the State New Zealand Pool Champs is a unique and exciting event.
All the events are based around rescue capability and are specific to saving people’s lives- what Surf Life Saving New Zealand is all about.
Not only is it the one event that is held in a controlled environment, it also the one competition that is purely swimming based.
The different events help competitors train for a surf environment. Diving underwater to pick up bricks off the bottom of the pool and rescuing manikins that weigh around 70kgs is comparable to ducking under a wave and diving under to rescue someone.
Some of the most popular events to watch are the line throw which involves one person throwing a rope to a patient who is positioned 12.5 meters from the pool edge, it is a very fast and exciting race to watch.
The Super Lifesaving event is another popular one with different components including swimming with fins, carrying a rescue tube and a rescue off the bottom of the pool.
The competition attracts huge crowds every year because of its unique and fun environment. It has a different vibe to competing at the beach. Competitors can hear the music and the crowds from the pool, unlike being out on the water at the beach. A draw card is that whole clubs can compete together and cheer each other on.
There are two types of records to be broken at the event:
The Championship Records – there are likely to be many of these broken across the board in all age groups.
National New Zealand Records – are the best of the best – these are only won in OPEN events.
Points of Interest
Oldest competitor: Paekakariki Surf Life Saving Club member Ronald Valentine, who turns 75 at the end of October, is this year’s oldest competitor. He has been a member of the club since 1954 and he is a committee member. He is participating in the Masters 50 meter swim with fins event.
A Family affair: Brothers Andy and Olympic athlete Steve Kent are competing alongside their cousins Danny and Martyn McDowell. They all belong to the Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club. Steve Kent represented New Zealand at the London Olympics and is part of the New Zealand team taking on the Aussies at the World Championships in Adelaide next month. Together they are competing in the Open Men’s 4x25m Manikin Relay, the Open Men’s 4x50m Medley Relay and the Open Men’s 4x50m Obstacle Relay. They are also competing separately in various individual events.
Lone Oreti competitor- Simon Cook, 23, is the only competitor taking part from the most Southern club, Oreti. He has entered the Open Men’s 200 meter swim with obstacles, the 50 meter swim with fins and 100 meter manikin tow.
Potential record breakers: Officials are expecting national records to be broken at this year’s competition. We might see this happen from Steve Kent in the Open Men’s 100m Rescue Medley. Lyall Bay’s Samantha Lee and Natasha Hind, who are also in the New Zealand Worlds team, could also break records. Samantha for the Open Women’s 100m Rescue Medley and the Open Women’s 200m with obstacles and Natasha for the Open Woman’s 200m Super lifesaver.