SLSNZ National Pool Rescue Championships a Chance to Test Fitness as Record Season Looms
This weekend’s Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) National Pool Rescue Championships are a chance for Surf Lifeguards to test their fitness ahead of what’s expected to be a record-breaking busy season on our nation’s beaches.
COVID-19 hit the SLSNZ sporting circuit hard, forcing the charity to cancel two key regional pool rescue championships and conduct a third under strict COVID-19 restrictions. Yet despite these setbacks, the 18th annual SLSNZ National Pool Rescue Championships are set to take place in Hamilton from October 2nd – 4th.
SLSNZ National Sport Manager, Lewis McClintock, says this year’s event will also be an opportunity to celebrate the chance to compete – despite limited training opportunities over winter.
“With so much disruption to daily life, the focus this year is really on giving our membership the opportunity to come together to compete and celebrate Surf Life Saving as they gear up to the start of patrol season later this month.”
Both the Northern and Southern Region Pool Championships were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions earlier in the year. Eastern Region Championships were reduced to just 100 competitors at any one time, meaning Northern Region clubs were unable to attend. Only Central Region were able to run their event without disruption.
This year’s national championships were originally set to take place at the National Aquatic Centre in Auckland but had to be relocated to Hamilton’s Waterworld just three weeks out from the event.
McClintock says the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19 and the change in venue has resulted in a marked decrease in competitors. Only 349 members are attending this weekend’s competition, down from 476 in 2019.
The shift to the Hamilton also means that any National or World records can’t be broken due to the pool not meeting the international requirements for the various Pool rescue disciplines.
However, 2019 Juniors, Seniors and Masters winners Orewa are returning to defend their title and will face fierce competition from Eastern Region runners-up and Champions Omanu and Mt Maunganui respectively.
With COVID-19 also affecting international competitions, New Zealand selectors will need to have their eye to the future when identifying talent to add to the High Performance Pool Squad.
This summer is expected to be one of SLSNZ’s busiest on record as Kiwis flock to the beach for COVID-imposed “staycations”.
SLSNZ National Pool Rescue Championships are an opportunity for competitors to practice the skills they use as life guards, and serve as a tool for ensuring Surf Lifeguards are fit for the busy summer season ahead.
Stay up to date with the latest news from this event on the Surf Life Saving New Zealand Facebook event page here.
About the SLSNZ National Pool Rescue Championships 2020:
- When: October 2 to 4, 2020
- Where: Waterworld, Hamilton
- Athletes competing: 349
- Total clubs competing: 27
Athletes compete in a variety of events that include swimming under obstacles, towing patients with rescue tubes, and recovering and dragging manikins.
Points are allocated to individuals and teams placings 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a race. Club points are added together to determine the top club.
The Paul Kent Memorial Trophy is presented to the club with the highest total of awarded points in the U11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19 and Open division.
The Top Masters Club Trophy is presented to the club with the highest total of awarded points in the Masters division.