Friday, 20 April 2018 06:11

2018 AB/NWT Pool Lifesaving Championships and Junior Games swam into Lethbridge

Written by  Demi Knight
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The 2018 AB/NWT pool lifesaving championships and junior games swam into Lethbridge last week, as athletes combined their sports skills with lifesaving abilities and rescue equipment to perform humanitarian acts for competition.


Bringing together lifeguards, lifesavers and athletes from all walks of life and skill levels at the Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre at the University of Lethbridge. On April 13-15, this year’s annual event was to feature hundreds of participants coming out to enjoy the unique competition.
“Lifesaving Sport is unique because it is the only sport in which skills are first learned for humanitarian purposes and then applied to competition,” says Mandy Fisher, Manager for Development and Operations at the Lifesaving Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories. “It provides opportunities for long term athlete development and the pursuit of excellence and achievement.”
First founded by champion swimmer, William Henry, the Lifesaving Society that hosts these championships and junior games each year, first staged a lifeguard competition in Canada back in the 1930’s; and has worked hard since to continue bringing such activities to the country ever since.
Now over 80 years later, the society has grown tremendously to host multiple events annually in provinces across all of the country, but it’s core humanitarian values to instill rescue skills required to be a lifesaver into their competitors has always remained the same.
One event in particular that came to southern Alberta this year was the  Pool Lifesaving Championships and Junior Games that are hosted by the Lifesaving Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories in Lethbridge.
Recognized by the international olympic committee and the commonwealth games federation, and sponsored by the University of Lethbridge, the Alberta Government and more, these championships and junior games came to Lethbridge this month to challenge the fitness, knowledge, skill, judgement and values of all athletes that signed up to compete.
“There were 288 athletes representing 14 Affiliate lifesaving sport clubs that participated in the 2018 AB/NWT Pool Lifesaving Championships and Junior Games,” says Fisher.
“And this event would not be possibly without the incredible support of the volunteers, sponsors and the University of Lethbridge as our host.”
Offering a slew of events over the course of the three days for competitors to indulge in including an obstacle swim, manikin carry, rescue medley, simulated emergency response competition and more this year’s event saw a fantastic turnout of athletes.
All of whom have spent countless hours training and preparing to put their lifesaving abilities to the ultimate test through these 11 different competitions.
With 73 volunteers, and over 400 spectators in attendance, this year’s event floated to supreme success once again.
However, it isn’t only this competition that the AB/NWT Lifesaving Society are excited to host this year but also several other upcoming events in the summer that continue the focus of instilling lifesaving abilities into athlete’s across the province.
“The Society will be hosting several Lifesaving Sport camps this summer,” says Fisher.
“The focus of the camps will be on the acquisition of fundamental surf and beach skills and use of lifesaving sport equipment for beginners and more advanced skills and equipment use for those participants with more experience and skill.”
More information on upcoming lifesaving events will be posted on the Lifesaving Society’s website within the upcoming months at: www.lifesaving.org

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