A dress rehearsal of beach events capped off the final day of the Black Fins team camp on the Gold Coast yesterday in preparation for the Lifesaving World Championships.
The team came together on the Gold Coast from July 8-17 for their second of three team camps ahead of Rescue 2016.
They were put through intense training sessions and a dress rehearsal of the Rescue 2016 programme as well as competing at the Queensland Pool Championships.
As part of their team building activities, they had the privilege of spending some time with Kiwi legend Shaun Quincey and then had dinner and a Q and A session with Sir Graham Henry.
Team manager Mark Weatherall says it was great for the athletes to meet them both and have them share their thoughts and wisdom with the team.
Coach Jason Pocock says it was a very successful 10 days for the Black Fins who are now only 40 days away from departing New Zealand for the Lifesaving World Championships in the Netherlands in September.
"It was good to get some racing in at the Queensland Pool Championships last weekend and then follow that up with a dress rehearsal of the Rescue 2016 programme. The last three days has seen the team race in the pool for two days and on the beach for one, he says.
"I'm very happy with the progress they're making and, in particular, the skills being showed by the team as a whole. I'm looking forward to continuing the hard work over the next few weeks before the final team camp in mid-August."
Rescue 2016, the Lifesaving World Championships, will be held in Eindhoven and Noordwijk in The Netherlands from September 1-18 and the Black Fins will be looking to take out the title for the third time in a row after first prising the title from Australia in Adelaide in 2012 and again in France in 2014.
The six female athletes include Commonwealth Games swimmers Samantha Lee (Lyall Bay) and Laura Quilter (Wainui) Nutri-Grain Ironnwoman stars Danielle McKenzie (Mairangi Bay) and Devon Halligan (Omanu), pool rescue specialist Natalie Peat (Papamoa) and beach sprinter Olivia Eaton (Mt Maunganui).
The men's line-up remains unchanged from Rescue 2014 and includes former Olympic swimmers Steven Kent (Titahi Bay) and Andrew McMillan (St Clair) along with Ironmen Max Beattie (Omanu) and Cory Taylor (Midway) who took part in their first Kellogg's Nutri-Grain series this year. They are joined by Paul Cracroft-Wilson (Fitzroy) and Chris Dawson (Midway).
New Zealand will also be sending a Youth team known as the Junior Black Fins. Like the Open team, the Youth team features six male and six female athletes.
To keep up to date with the team's journey, visit the SLSNZ High Performance Facebook page at www.facebook.com/slsnzhp or on Instagram @slsnzhp.
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823