Friday, 27 January 2023

SLSNZ has appointed Steve Kent & Zac Franich as Black Fins & Junior Black Fins Campaign Leads through to the Life Saving World Championships in 2024 which is being held on the Gold Coast. 

Steve is well known to the surf lifesaving community having recently competed in his seventh Lifesaving World Championship in Italy last year, captaining the Black Fins to 2nd place.

As both an Olympian and Black Fin, Steve is one of the sport’s most experienced and highly decorated athletes, having won numerous individual and team titles in the pool and on the beach at multiple National & International events, including three World Championships.

Steve is the current chair of the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS) Athlete Commission and sits on the ILS Board and he has previously been head coach of Coast Swim Club in Auckland and led the New Zealand Surf Life Saving team on their European tour in 2019.

Of the transition from Athlete to Coach, Steve said “I’ve been involved in Black Fins environment for a long time and so I’m excited to remain heavily involved in the high performance programmes and I’m ‘looking forward to the opportunity to lead the team into what will be an incredible world championships on the Gold Coast”.

Zac returns for his second campaign, having led the Junior Black Fins to a silver medal in Italy in 2022 and brings a wealth of coaching, surf lifesaving and high performance knowledge to the role.

Operating in a coaching role at Orewa SLSC since 2015, Zac has coached across ocean, beach and pool disciplines, with the club winning three National pool rescue championships and developing multiple athletes for National squad selection. Zac Has also been involved within various Canoe Racing New Zealand HP programmes, including Men’s U18 Lead in the 2021 World Championships Campaign.

In his role as Member Services manager for Surf Life Saving Northern Region, Zac has been integral in innovating and creating opportunities in coach and athlete development at a community and high performance level.

“The Junior Black Fins are the hallway to the Black Fins team, a chance to understand what it takes to win and use the opportunity to gain the experience, skills and knowledge of how to be a better athlete, better person and to perform’. I’m really looking forward to leading another campaign with these youth athletes.”

Steve and Zac are working closely together planning for the youth and open Campaigns seeking a competitive advantage now and in the future.