The multi-disciplined sport of lifesaving has grown with the increase of Life Saving Clubs. Life Savers compete to test their fitness and surf skills in local, regional and national competitions.
Surf Life Saving sport is primarily intended to encourage lifesavers to develop, maintain and improve the essential physical and mental skills needed to save lives in the aquatic environment. Originally lifesaving sport was little more than a way of keeping lifesavers fit; now for some it is a full time career, especially in Australia. The Australian National Lifesaving Championships are the 2nd biggest participation event in the world, only 2nd to the Olympic Games. In the UK our National Championships are a smaller affair but still attract more than 500 competitors each year. In Cornwall alone over the 3 sections we have more than 600 competitors.
All the events have some element relating to the skills required to save lives at sea, including the flags event, which is about quick reactions.
Surf Life Saving Competitions are divided into the following areas:
- Surf swimming.
- Beach events (sprints and distance running events, relay and beach flags).
- Team events – running, swimming and craft relays.
- Board and ski paddling.
- Surf boat rowing.
- IRB simulated rescue.
- Stillwater events.
The sport is an intrinsic activity of the SLSGB. It helps to develop our Lifesavers skills, knowledge and techniques, the sport of lifesaving plays an essential role in bringing our clubs and regions together on a regular basis to share information and experience. There are opportunities for members to compete for Cornwall, England and GB teams which are selected from ranking events with specific criteria.