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Hamilton to host national lifeguard competition finals

28 August 2014

Hamilton to host national lifeguard competition finals

Precision skills, emergency rescue scenarios, and relay races will be just some of the events on show when New Zealand’s top aquatic facility lifeguard teams compete for the title of New Zealand National Lifeguard Team of the Year at Waterworld in Hamilton on Wednesday 3 September.

This year’s National Lifeguard Sports Competition is shaping up to be a dynamic event, with the Waikato and Bay of Plenty’s regional champion Bay Venues up against Wellington’s champion team, an all-star line-up selected from the best of the Auckland teams and a wild-card team from Horowhenua which has been training together for several months.

Defending champions Auckland are perennial favourites for the New Zealand Recreation Association event, but Chief Executive Andrew Leslie is not counting out the possibility of an upset.

“Auckland are clear favourites and have pulled together the best from teams across their region, but home team advantage can play a big part. The Wellington regional team has great communication and experience working together, and Horowhenua have been training together for the last six months. At this stage it’s anybody’s game.”

Mr Leslie said that simply putting forward a team of strong swimmers does not guarantee victory.

“To win the Lifeguard Team of the year event, a team needs to have a strong ability to work together. Leadership is an important factor, and teams need to communicate well, especially when dealing with pressure situations. These factors are vital when lifeguards are doing their job day-to-day and can really make or break a team.”

The New Zealand National Lifeguard Sports Competition consists of five championship events designed to test skills lifeguards have developed in their training as well as how they respond to emergency scenarios the teams could experience in day to day work.

Events include the relay - where teams showcase their swimming skills and rescue techniques using a dummy submerged in the deepest part of the pool - the rope rescue, the flutterboard throw, a theory challenge and a scenario where teams must cope with an unplanned emergency.

Teams must include at least one female team member, and all participants must be working in an aquatic facility and hold a current Pool Lifeguard Practicing Certificate.

The New Zealand National Lifeguard Team of the Year Award will be presented with the Lifeguard of the Year and Innovation in Aquatics Awards at a formal dinner on the Hobbiton Movie Set near Matamata. The New Zealand National Lifeguard Sports Competition is hosted in conjunction with New Zealand’s premier aquatics industry event – NZRA’s Just Add Water Seminar.


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