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Surf Life Saving originated in Australia in the early 1900s with the growth of seaside towns and the interest in swimming. Surf Life Saving was then introduced into Great Britain in 1955 in Bude, St Agnes in Cornwall and Brighton in Sussex.

Clubs were formed in Wales during the mid 1960s at Aberavon, Atlantic College , Barry, St Johns , Llantwit Major, Pen-y-bont, Porthmawr & Rhoose. .

Throughout 1967, leading into the winter of 1968, discussions took place between Charles Thomson, Leader of the Extramural Department at Atlantic College, John David and a number of other people, notably Reg Whittle, Frank Clark and Alf Thomas, in creating the Surf Life Saving Association of Wales.  In the spring of 1968, John David was elected as the first Chairman, Reg Whittle as Secretary and Margaret Whittle as Treasurer.


Surf Life Saving Association WALES is a not-for-profit Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) Number ~ 1157762. Thirty-one voluntary lifeguard clubs currently affiliate to SLSA Wales from Jacksons Bay , Barry in the east to Aberystwyth in the west and Rhosneigr on Anglesey in the north.   Covering every Local Authority from the Vale of Glamorgan to Gwynedd and Anglesey in north Wales.  The majority of our lifesavers complete patrols on the weekend and in their own free time.

The primary aims & objectives are to save lives, to develop and improve National and International standards of life saving whilst co-operating with all organisations with similar aims. We also aim to provide the facilities for young people to participate in organised life saving activities and sports competitions.

We are governed by a management board of trustees who are supported by four commissions representing Lifesaving, Powercraft, Sport and Youth. The Commissions are responsible for delivering the annual management plan to support the Board's strategies that will see the organisation fulfil its purpose.


Surf Lifesaving in Wales, would not exist without its army of volunteers and it is almost impossible to overstate our gratitude to the many thousands of community focused members who have contributed to this.  Below are some of these volunteers, who we have recognised in some small way of the years:


Michael Allen                     Gerald Bassett                       Lyle Bluck                 Glenn Clatworthy

Gerald Cooper                  John David                            Martin John                 Chris Parry

Peter Lake. MBE.             James Marks         Dr George Middleton.MBE.          Colin Morris

Andrea Pennell                 Philip Rees                          Tony Rees                 Paul Scarborough

Dallas Robinson           Elizabeth Thomas                Patrick Thomas               Reg Whittle

Paul Edwards



Essex Havard                          Frank Smith                      Charles Thomson. MBE. O.St.J.        

Douglas Williams                     Alf Thomas                       Peter Derbyshire

David Lewis


1996     Aled Rees                          Poppit Sands           1997     Gerald & Gloria Davies  Rest Bay

1998     Peter Lake                        Penybont                   1999     Glen Clatworthy            Sker

2000    Karen O'Donoghue-Harris   Rhoose                    2001     James Marks                Sker

2002    Tony Rees                         Aberavon                   2003      Peter Morgan              Penybont   

2004     Lisa Pritchard-Evans        Aberporth                   2005      Chris Parry                  Porthmawr

2006    Nigel Martlew                     Rhoose                      2007      Martin John                 Aberavon

2008    Craig Robinson                  Penybont                   2009      Gary Pyke                   Llantwit Major

2010    Andrea Pennell                 Llantwit Major             2011      David Murphy              Penybont

2012    Craig Robinson                 Penybont                   2013      Phil Rees                     Rhondda

2014    Lyle Bluck                         Kenfig Sands             2015      Steve Chambers           Aberavon

2016    Julie Wisden                    Penybont                    2017      David Allen                   Penybont

2018    Jennie Pitt                       Llantwit Major             2019      Shan Parry                   Porthmawr

2020    Hugh Murray                   Sker and Pink Bay      2021      Simon Perry                 Rhoose


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Youth Boys

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2024 World Championships
A new website has launched for the 2024 Lifesaving World Championships. Click below to access site:

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The 2022 SLSA Wales insurance policies can now be viewed in the Members only area under the Management Documents folder....
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