Today, more than 160 international athletes from 14 countries will be competing in the 2019 Commonwealth Festival of Lifesaving at the Aquatics Centre at John Charles Sports Centre in Leeds, which this year is hosted by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK).
This prestigious three-day event, which runs until Saturday, will see athletes put their lifesaving skills to the test whilst being judged on their skill, judgement, knowledge and ability across a range of challenges.
The first two days are given over to high-pressure timed events, that will see a manikin replicate an unconscious non-breathing casualty in the water. The last day enrols live ‘casualties’ – volunteers briefed to behave in a certain way, stimulating varying degrees of distress and creating incidents in the water that present unpredictable situations for the rescuing competitor.
“The event allows the international lifesaving community to come together and celebrate the physical and mental agility of the best swimmers, lifesavers and lifeguards from across the globe. But make no mistake, all the competitors are here to make their mark,” said Clive Holland, Royal Life Saving Society Deputy President.
“The Commonwealth Festival of Lifesaving is not just an event that is ‘nice to have’, neither is it a notional pre-amble to the Commonwealth Games 2022; it is an important step in gauging a nation’s sporting progress, plays a vital role in ensuring wider water safety and drowning prevention work across the Commonwealth and is a significant accolade for the host nation,” he added.
Australia will be looking to replicate their 2017 success by acing both team events, whilst the England Development Team will be aiming to push them all the way and better their 2017 silver medal.
To follow all the action from the event, search the hashtag #CFOL19 or follow @RLSSUK on twitter.