Lifeguards taking part in competition

England Team including representatives from Blyth Lifeguard and Swimming Club.
England Team including representatives from Blyth Lifeguard and Swimming Club.

Lifeguards from Blyth are thisweekend taking part in the prestigious Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships in Australia.

Michele Weedy, Nikki Gray, Andrew Kane, Lauren Carroll, Rachel Carroll, Charlotte Duff, Jake Power and Charley Gourle, are in Australia now with 300 international athletes and oficals as part of the championships which run from Friday, September 6, to Sunday, September 8, in Canberra.

The event will see teams from Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa and Wales – all vying for glory.

Michele Weedy who is the team manager for England, and comes from Blyth, said: “Lifesavers are astonishing athletes.

“When people are watching this event what you have to remember is the events are based on potential real life scenarios – this is about challenging lifesavers in situations they could easily encounter.

“This competition is all pool based with an unknown incident.

“They will also be throwing rescue lines in under 12 seconds and rescuing manikins with and without fins.

“As a team we hope to emulate third place in both the national and development overall and hopefully close the gap on South Africa and Australia.”

Royal Life Saving’s national sport and events officer Emma MacMillan saidL “When it comes to Pool Lifesaving as a sport, the Commonwealth Championships are the equivalent of the Commonwealth Games.

“Pool lifesavers do so much important work and this is an opportunity to shine the spotlight on them.”

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) is the Commonwealth’s largest water-safety education, lifesaving and lifeguard training organisation.

RLSS Commonwealth is represented by 28 member branches with over two million lifesaving and resuscitation awards taken annually worldwide.

The event is only open to Commonwealth nations and is sanctioned by the Commonwealth Games Federation and the International Life Saving Federation.

Competitors will take part in a range of events which will include obstacle relays, simulated emergency responses, and manikin carry where teams carry out a simulated rescue with a manikin at high velocity through the water to safety.