Described as ‘possibly the most demanding multidisciplinary sport that exists in the world today’, lifesaving tests its athletes to the extreme. While that claim comes from Royal Life Saving Society UK, it hits the nail on the head.
As Club Captain King Yee and member Daniel Jensen sat down to chat about the sport after their first appearance at the Yorkshire Speeds last month, it was clear it’s a sport with a bit of a difference.
Lifesaving promotes skills in a competitive setting with teams consisting of four people, including one captain and three members. The competitions are split into two parts, one sees you go into a simulated emergency with the aim to respond to it in the best way you can in a team of four. The second is focussed on speed with an emphasis on strokes, such as tow and rope throw.
Getting to see the top athletes at the Yorkshire Speeds fuelled the pair’s ambition to continue to improve.
“We’d never been to Yorkshire Speeds before as we’d always competed in the University League and University Championships,” said King Yee.
“We’ve never really branched out to proper national competitions before. It was really good, a great experience and it was against the best athletes in the country. Some of those will go on to compete in the World Championships later this year. It was great to see the best of the best compete. A handful of us got PBs and Sarah Falconer won silver in the women’s 200m obstacle swim.”
Formed in 2013/14, the club is relatively new in the Sport Sheffield world, so much so that they scooped Most Improved at last year’s Sports Club Awards Night.
Daniel, a PhD student, says the sport involves much more than just swimming, but is also a gateway to picking up other skills.
“We teach first aid, general CPR, how to treat certain medical conditions if you come across them, rescue skills and, while we don’t cover everything in competition, we still try to provide a lot of information on emergencies you may come across,” he said.
“We offer awards and certificates so you can try and implement that in employment, such as First Aid at Work, Survive and Save and the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) at a discounted rate.”
The club runs Give It A Go sessions and urges people to get in touch via Facebook if it’s something that intrigues you.
The club competed in Bristol last weekend in the Freshers competition in the University League, with new starters able to taste the competitive edge.
It was a weekend of success as the ‘A’ team came 7th out of 36, including third place in one of the events.
The ‘B’ team, which consisted of three Freshers, were the best performers out of the new starters, winning a medal and coming 17th overall. The ‘C’ team, meanwhile, came 33rd.