1000 Lifeguards compete in bamberg

The performance of the 150 or so volunteers from the local DLRG association in bamberg-gaustadt and their 157 colleagues from the bavarian DLRG youth association was more than impressive over the weekend for the german championship in rescue swimming. After all, it was necessary to accommodate, look after and provide for around 2,000 participants – including more than 1,000 swimmers, 117 competition judges and 80 people in the organizational area – for four days.

"We have been working on the preparations for two years. We had to do a lot of talking and also a lot of persuasion work, concluded gerhard ohlein, first chairman of the DLRG bamberg-gaustadt. After all, it took five bamberg schools alone to accommodate the many participants during the weekend. But there was also a lot of food and equipment to be brought in.

"We set up 72 beer sets and unloaded 25 euro pallets of dishes in the canteen area alone, the foyer of the graf stauffenberg schools.", said melanie hamaschek, one of the volunteers from bamberg. They and their helpers have distributed around 11.000 sandwiches were handed out and 42.000 tea bags and 345 jars of nutella. And for the evening reception with award ceremonies, a 7.5-ton truck – crammed with lighting and technology – had to be unloaded.

And while the set-up took four days, as melanie hamaschek explained, the dismantling had to be done in just one day because of the start of school on monday. Nevertheless, ohlein and all his helpers agree: the rough setup was worth it. On the one hand, it was a good advertisement for the sports city of bamberg, and on the other hand, there was a lot of positive feedback, especially from the younger swimmers – almost 700 were under 16 years of age.

Fight for the trophies
In the indoor swimming pool of bambados, athletes in five age groups and various disciplines competed for the coveted medals and trophies. In individual and team competitions, for example, they had to "rescue" dolls with and without flippers, diving under obstacles and using rescue equipment. In addition, the disciplines included performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a dummy in the neighboring gymnasium of the eichendorff high school.

An "old hand among the athletes was 23 year old christian ertel from stralsund. He joined the DLRG in 2002 and actually just wanted to "lie on the beach and do watch duty" like many of his comrades. But in the meantime he is in the A-squad of the national team of rescue swimmers and trains nine times a week. However, the hoped-for shower of medals failed to materialize for him in bamberg, at least in the team competition. His team was disqualified for a rule violation. At the venue in bamberg, christian ertel praised above all the delicious food. On the other hand, he criticized, among other things, the swimming pool in bambados, which he said was too small for the competition. "Unfortunately, the space for the swimmers is much too narrow. There is also no room for spectators", he complained.

The fact that no spectators were allowed for reasons of space was also criticized by many parents, some of whom had traveled hundreds of kilometers and were then unable to cheer on their children during the competitions.
Still, so dennis makoschey, organizer and deputy chairman of the DLRG national youth association, summed up the event by saying that he was very satisfied with the course of the event and the location of the event in bamberg. He could even imagine that bamberg will once again be the venue for the championships. However, ohlein added, only with the necessary distance in a few years' time.

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