Record number of competitors at the 2022 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships on the Gold Coast
A record 7,200 athletes from over 300 surf clubs across Australia have arrived on the Gold Coast for the 2022 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships.
- The Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships, known as the Aussies, will take place over nine days on the Gold Coast from this weekend
- More than 7,000 athletes are registered to participate in the championships
- Events will take place in Broadbeach, Kurrawa and North Kirra
The annual event, known as the Aussies, puts competitors’ skills to the test in a range of beach and ocean competitions.
This year’s event was originally scheduled to be held in Western Australia, but late last year the decision was made to move to the Gold Coast due to border uncertainty.
Australians committee chairman John Brennan said the athletes were ready to go after a disruptive few years.
“We’re ready to go with a record number of admissions – just over 7,000 – over 1,000 more than in 2019, pre-COVID,” he said.
“In addition to over 7,000 athletes, nearly 500 officials, water safety, medical, support staff, it’s a great event.
“Although it’s a national championship, it’s a great time to come together and catch up with everyone.”
Boost to the city
Gold Coast Deputy Mayor Donna Gates said the event would give local accommodation providers a boost.
“The Commonwealth Games were almost as big in terms of the number of athletes, but it’s the best,” she said.
“The city’s goal has been to increase overnight stays, and this event does just that.”
Poole’s Last Lap
Gold Coast ironman Matt Poole has a different mindset heading into this event – his last competition before retirement.
“Usually you’re very nervous, focused on getting good results,” he said.
The Northcliffe competitor shocked his teammates when he told them there was a 50/50 chance he would compete in the Ironman event.
“I feel like it was a fairy tale ending for me,” he said.
“I really want to emphasize giving it my all in the team events for Northcliffe.”
Admitting he felt “totally 33”, Poole said he would consider competing if the swell increased.
Back to the roots
Northcliffe ironwoman Courtney Hancock’s first Australian titles were on the Gold Coast, so a local Aussie holds a special place in her heart.
“It’s all getting very real now, [I’m] gets very excited,” she said.
“All the work is done, now it’s time to rest and prepare to leave on Wednesday.
She said she liked the team nature of the Aussies.
“The wonderful thing about Aussies is you can put your club cap on, it’s a beautiful time to support each other and be with your family club,” she said.