Competition day isn't always about being the best for some local surf lifeguards, the like-minded people they get to interact with and the fun environment is right up there too.

Although Molly Shivnan, from the Omanu Club, Mitch Cowdrey, from the Papamoa Club, and Tessa Bradley, of the Mt Maunganui Club, are arguably at the top of their game.

The teenagers competed as part of the Eastern Region Pool Championships at Baywave Aquatic Centre on Saturday, which was the first big event of the Eastern Region's new sport season.

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The athletes were among 190 from around the region and this year the event was held in a 25m pool for the first time. The usual venue, Te Rapa Waterworld, was closed and would remain so for the rest of the year for maintenance.

Eighteen-year-old Cowdrey had been involved with surf lifesaving his whole life and said it was good to try a different set up with the change of venue.

The Mount Maunganui College student said although he was a beach-based athlete, the pool championships was an exciting way to work on different skills, including his favourite events; the line throw and the 50m swim with fins.

He, along with Bradley, were focusing on training for the upcoming Lifesaving World Championship which would be held in Adelaide in November.

"The world championships is definitely my focus right now, it will be the pinnacle of my surf lifesaving career so far," Cowdrey said.

Bradley, a Katikati College student, said she also enjoyed the 50m swim with fins and the 100m manikin carry.

Her favourite part of the pool championships was the people.

"You get to meet up with lots of different people and clubbies," she said.


Mount Maunganui College student Molly Shivnan, 15, was a part of the New Zealand Junior Development squad.

She enjoyed the change of venue and said it was good to challenge herself in different conditions and in a different environment.

Her top events were the 200m swim with obstacles and the 100m rescue medley.

The second Eastern Region Pool Championships will be held on Saturday, September 29 and Baywave Aquatic Centre.