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Queensland lifesavers dive into Pool Rescue Champs

More than 350 surf lifesavers from across the state will dive into the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre this weekend for Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) 2015 State Pool Rescue Championships.

It wraps up an action-packed fortnight of surf lifesaving on the Gold Coast, following the Queensland IRB Championships last weekend at Mermaid Beach.

The two-day Pool Rescue Championships will see qualified surf lifesavers from all corners of the state take their patrol and rescue skills from the beach to the still-water, as they battle it out across a range of pool-based events including obstacle swims, line throws, tube swims and manikin rescues.

SLSQ sports manager Stuart Hogben said it was a great opportunity, and challenge, for lifesavers to transfer the skills they regularly use on surf patrols into the pool environment.

“The pool rescue competition is a really important opportunity for all lifesavers to work on their skills and hone their craft throughout the winter months,” he said.

“These types of pool rescue skills are fast becoming essential for all surf lifesavers. The events can be quite technical, and a lot of competitors will no doubt be looking to refine their techniques and improve on their skills heading into the warmer months,” he said.

Defending champion Currumbin is once again looming as the club to beat, and will be spearheaded by rising star Matt Davis who captained the Australian Under-19 team at the 2014 World Championships and won five gold medals in the process.

Davis will be part of the Australian team travelling to this year’s World Lifesaving Championships along with several other competitors lining up this weekend, including Prue Davies (Currumbin), Sam Bell (Maroochydore), Pamela Hendry (Maroochydore) and Chelsea Gillett (Maroochydore).

Mr Hogben said athletes from all corners of the state would line up to compete this weekend, and suggested there could be a few upsets along the way.

“The pool is a great leveller in a lot of ways; it doesn’t matter if you come from the big surf of the Gold Coast or the calmer waters in the north, everyone’s on an equal footing when they dive in and it all comes down to who is the strongest swimmer and who has the most technically-correct lifesaving skills,” he said.

“In the past few years we’ve really see the pool side of competition emerge as a big part of the surf lifesaving program and competitive calendar, and there will be plenty of athletes eager to showcase their skills across the weekend,” Mr Hogben said.

The Queensland Pool Rescue Championships will be held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre at Southport on the Gold Coast. The action kicks off at 8am on Saturday 9 July and wraps up Sunday afternoon.

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