Adkins to Compete for Wieland Shield
Nov. 13, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – This January, a group of California Lifeguards will be traveling to Victoria, Australia to compete in the 23rd Biannual Wieland Shield Educational Lifeguard Tour and Competition. Shannon Adkins, a 2013 graduate and four-year standout on the Pepperdine women’s swimming and diving team, was one of just four women chosen to represent California and compete for the coveted Wieland Shield.
Adkins (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS), who serves as a Los Angeles County Lifeguard during the summer season, was selected thanks in part to her impressive performances at the most recent United States Lifeguard Association (USLA) regional and national lifeguard competitions.
“I applied for the Shield team on a whim and didn't have that high of expectations,” said Adkins. “I was really surprised to be selected, since they typically don’t pick too many rookies. I consider myself extremely lucky to be a part of this.”
Adkins has only been lifeguarding for about a year. Her journey began last October, when she and two other members of the Waves’ squad took part in the L.A. Country Lifeguard Test. Adkins, Sarah Burris (Virginia Beach, Va./Cox HS) and Stephanie Ertl (Carmel, Ind./Carmel HS) all successfully completed the 1,000 meter ocean swim and placed high enough to advance to the interview stage.
Adkins placed 18th overall out of 350 participants and was the first female to reach the finish line.
“We are so proud of Shannon,” said Pepperdine’s swim and dive coach Nick Rodionoff. “It’s pretty exciting to see where swimmers in our program can go.”
The Wieland Shield traces its roots back to 1956, when Melbourne, Australia was chosen to host the summer Olympics. Surf life savers decided to hold an invitational lifesaving competition. The inaugural event took place on Nov. 26, 1956 and drew a crowd of 115,000 spectators.
Events being held at this year’s competition include swimming, paddle boarding, surfski and various surf rescue relay races. Adkins is expected to contribute in the swim events.
“It's been a bit more challenging to train without having my teammates pushing me at practice every day,” continued Adkins. “It's a whole new ball game trying to train at the pool, in the ocean, and in the weight room without “the divas” always by my side."
Although the first Wieland Shield featured teams from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka) and South Africa, the event has become a biannual event between the states of California and Victoria.
Both counties have ultimately benefited from the competition, as different lifesaving tools and strategies are shared.
This year’s Wieland Shield Competition will be held at Torquay, Lorne and Jan Juc beaches, located just west of Melbourne. The Victoria squad will journey to Southern California in August 2016.