A group of young North East lifeguards are heading to Australia to compete on behalf of English and Scottish teams in a prestigious life-saving competition.
Seven members of the Blyth Lifeguard and Swimming Club are representing British countries in the 2013 Commonwealth Championships in Canberra.
Previous Commonwealth Championship medal winners 26-year-old Andrew Kane from Blyth, 17-year-old Lauren Caroll from Cramlington and 26-year-old Nikki Gray from Blyth are hoping to repeat their successes at the 2011 event in South Africa.
Joining them will be 16-year-old Rachel Caroll from Cramlington, 16-year-old Charlotte Duff from Tynemouth, 17-year-old Jake Power from Blyth and 17-year-old Charley Gourley from Blyth.
Further success for team members Charley Gourley and Andrew Kane, who won silver medals at the European Senior Championships in Holland just weeks before the Commonwealth Championships, is filling England team leader Linda Taylor with hope.
Linda, a 47-year-old from Newcastle, said: “They’ve done so well to win the medals they have and to be picked for the national and development teams in the commonwealths.
“To achieve what they do with the training they have is phenomenal. Two years ago in South Africa everyone came back with a medal and both teams finished third in the Commonwealth and it was the first time England had achieved that.
“I’m confident they’ll do well, their times are dropping nicely and we’ve done as much training as we can so hopefully they’re ready and raring to go.”
The pool-based contest will see the lifeguards carry out a number of rescue scenarios using ropes and water-filled manequins, and they will also be presented with an unknown incident to deal with.
The competition begins on September 6, 2013 in Canberra, Sydney.