World Champion Surf Lifesaver Brings Expertise to New Zealand

Tuesday, 13 June 2023

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) has received a valuable boost in expertise from one of the world’s top competitive Surf Lifesavers, Kai Schirmer.


The Director of Sport at the German Life Saving Association (DLRG), coach and former athlete, is in the country as part of a three-year HPSNZ Coaching Prime Minister Scholarship, and he will be sharing his wealth of knowledge with SLSNZ’s high performance athletes and coaches.


SLSNZ High Performance Manager Tanya Hamilton said Schirmer will be conducting three pool rescue clinics with SLSNZ HP coaches in Auckland and Christchurch next month.  “We’re thrilled to have someone of Kai’s standard here, and the interest in his clinics reflects how highly valued his expertise is.”


Pool lifesaving is one of the three core disciplines in the sport of lifesaving, along with ocean and beach disciplines.  With more than ten individual and team events, pool rescue tests swimming and rescue skills in a still-water environment. 


“Being the best in the world for pool rescue means being the fittest and fastest, and also being consistently accurate so as to not get disqualified,” Hamilton said.


Germany has a long tradition as a lifesaving powerhouse and is traditionally among the best in Europe.  Schirmer is no exception, being a world champion and world record holder in the 100m Manikin Tow with Fins.


Hamilton said, “New Zealand Teams will benefit greatly from Kai sharing his wisdom directly with our high performance athletes now and in the long term by upskilling our coaches. This is a long term strategy to close a performance gap and lead in the space”.


Schirmer held his first workshop for high performance athletes in Auckland on June 4th.  He will be in Christchurch on June 10th and 11th before his final workshop in Auckland on June 17th and 18th for coach and athlete development.


His visit comes ahead of the Australian Pool Rescue Championships, which will be held from August 4th to 6th.