Lifesavers To Battle For State Honours

History, tradition, pride, and mate ship are all values integral to the Lifesaving Championships and all will be on display when the first event of the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships gets underway at Ocean Beach – Umina tomorrow.


The Lifesaving Program consists of the Champion Lifesaver, Patrol Competition, and First Aid Competition events, and will be held over three competition days at Ocean Beach – Umina.

It’s a highly technical sport combining both theory and practical work with the judges scrutinising the competitor’s every move with the aim to accumulate points.

There’s plenty on the line with only the first two qualifiers earning the right to compete at The Aussies in April in the Champion Lifesaver and Patrol Competition, and three in the First Aid Event.


Champion Lifesaver – Saturday 27 February

Patrol Competition – Sunday 28 February

First Aid Competition – Saturday 8 March

The Champion Lifesaver Event is for individuals (both male and female) in the U15, 17, 19, Open, 30-39 and 40+ Age groups. It consists of three parts; a multiple choice exam, CPR scenarios, and a skills competition in a Beach Sprint, Surf Race, Board Race, and Tube Race.

To be crowned champion a lifesaver must perform at a highly competent level throughout the events entirety.

In the Patrol Competition, the competitors represent their clubs and must demonstrate their knowledge of how a patrol can function efficiently and in a professional manner. It’s open to competitors aged 17 and above and consists of 4 members in the U17 category and 6 in the open age group with the addition of IRB drivers.

The competition begins with an exam to test the knowledge before moving onto scenarios, and team races. To be successful the teams must work together and demonstrate leadership and good practise.

The First Aid Competition tests the participant’s knowledge and skills of a variety of situations. To score top points they need to be able to assess the condition of a patient and treat them in accordance with standard procedures.


Over the years there have been plenty of challenges for the competitors as some states conducted the event using their own operating procedures for the scenarios. This made it almost impossible for everyone to be judged on a uniform standard.

In an effort to overcome this handicap in 2016 all competitors will know exactly what they will be judged upon with the release of a new document detailing all this information.

This was trialled at the Sydney Northern Beaches Championships for the first time with great success and refinements will continue to be made after feedback from the competitors.


According to championship referee Barry Antella OAM to be successful in these events a lifesaver must have “a well-developed knowledge of the theory, excellent physical fitness and an ability to be adaptable to any situation.”

Barry has been involved with the event for over a decade and considers it an excellent test of a lifesaver’s all-round ability.

With many of these competitors entering each year and passing on this knowledge and skills to their younger club mates, the future of lifesaving is in safe hands.

Photographs - Action from the 2015 Lifesaving Championships at Ocean Beach.

Fri 26 Feb 2016