Future surf lifesaving champions will be in Tauranga this weekend competing as part of the first big event of the Eastern Region's new sport season.
Eastern Region Surf Lifesavers will take part in the 2018 Eastern Region Pool Championships, over two days at Baywave Aquatic Centre.
About 190 athletes will compete in the champs with the first event on Saturday, also marking the first time the event has been held in a 25m pool in the region, and the second event held on September 29. The usual venue, Te Rapa Waterworld, is closed and will remain so for the rest of the year for maintenance.
About 65 of those athletes will come from the Mount Maunganui club, and head coach John Bryant says it will be an exciting event because everyone is used to competing in a 50m pool so there will be plenty of changes to get used to.
"There'll be some good kids from us," Bryant says.
"We'll have a very strong team."
He's particularly excited for U11s such as Haley Fowler and Olivia Middleweek because it's the age group where they are competing against big timers for the first time.
"It's their first time to have a race in these champs."
He says these events are a breeding ground for future champs, because it is all part of the building process.
"There is some real exciting talent coming through."
Both of the sessions at Baywave will give competitors a good lead into the National Pool Championships in Auckland on October 12-14.
While the event will feature talented surf lifeguards from around the region, it also includes some of SLSNZ's high-performance athletes from the Junior Black Fins who will use the event as an opportunity to practise for the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Eastern Region sport manager Mark Inglis says the Eastern Region Pool Championships are an exciting event for competitors and spectators because "all of the events are based around rescue capability and are specific to saving lives".
"It is the first big event of the Eastern Region's new sport season, so our members are pumped and ready to take part.
"This is where many future surf lifesaving champions are built."
Eastern Region Pool Championships:
Date: Saturday, August 18 and Saturday, September 29: 8am
Venue: Baywave Pool, Mt Maunganui
Swim with Obstacles (50m, 100m, 200m)
100m Tube with Patient and Fins
100m Manikin Tow with Fins
50m Swim with Fins
100m Rescue Medley
50m Manikin Carry without Fins
50m Brick Carry without Fins
100m Manikin Carry with Fins
200m Super Lifesaver
4x50m Obstacle Relay
4x50m Medley Relay
50m Rescue Medley
6x50m Mega Relay