Lifesaving Champs To Kick Off State Titles

After an absence of 2,554 days, the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships returns to Blacksmiths Beach when the 2017 Lifesaving Championships get underway at Swansea Belmont SLSC from tomorrow

Over 100 athletes from 21 clubs will be the first to test their skills as they battle it out in the traditional event which is the first of four different competitions flying under the banner of the “NSW Surf Life Saving Championships” from this Saturday 24 February and continuing until March 12.

HOW IT WORKS:

The Lifesaving Program consists of the Champion Lifesaver, Patrol Teams, and First Aid Competition events, and will be held over three competition days at Blacksmiths Beach. 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 the first three in the First Aid event.

KEY DATES

Champion Lifesaver – Saturday 25 February
Patrol Competition – Sunday 26 February
First Aid Competition – Saturday 4 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 practice.

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.

NEW DEVELOPMENT FOR 2017:

Technology meets tradition at the 2017 Lifesaving Championships when a new marking system is implemented for the first time at state level.

Previously, the competitor’s papers were marked by an experienced judge, a labour intensive task that sometimes took three hours.

A new computer program will be trialled this year which is expected to streamline the process and make it more efficient. It will still be overseen by experienced officials and it is hoped that this will ensure the results of the competition will be known to the athletes more quickly than ever before.

The 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships proudly supported by your Local Club will be held at Blacksmiths Beach, Swansea from February 25 – March 12 incorporating the Lifesaving, Age, Masters, and Open Championships. '

Photograph - Competitors hard at work during a theory exam at the 2016 NSW Lifesaving Championships. Courtesy of Doug Hawkins

Fri 24 Feb 2017