The Sport of Lifesaving has a long and proud history within the Surf Life Saving community and continues to play a significant role in ensuring that out members have the ability, confidence and passion to meet the challenging environments which Surf Life Saving delivers its essential lifesaving service.
With early recordings of sport activity starting around 1912, lifesaving and sport have worked hand in hand for an organisation with volunteers at it's heart. You just have to talk with one of the many Life Members of Surf Life Saving about their involvement and the epic stories of huge surf, rescues they have performed and classic road trips to the many sport competitions to be inspired to say yes and become a part of the movement.
Lifesaving Sport competitions are enjoyed by our young Junior Surf members from the age of seven through to our experienced Masters. Like all sports delivered, we have an amazing support network of Coaches, Officials, Team Managers and many more volunteers that bind sport together and deliver a Great "Experience" for everyone involved.
Competitions have a long and proud history within the Surf Life Saving movement and caters for Juniors through to Masters. Click below for more information.
Coaching is a rewarding way to contribute to your community, stay involved and give back to your surf club. Click below to learn more.
From local surf carnivals to our National Championships, Lifesaving Sport needs great officials. Being a surf official is a rewarding way to stay involved and contribute to the ongoing development of the sport, and to meet others who share a common passion for it. Click below to learn more about our courses.
Learn more about our Teams, International Competitions and follow the action of our World class athletes.
About Lifesaving Sport Events
Lifesaving is not only a skill but a true multidiscipline sport. Throughout the year sporting fixtures include both beach, sea, open water and still water events. During these events,individuals or teams compete in a series of events. Each event aims to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of lifesaving principles and techniques. The run-swim-run is the most common and demonstrates the basic need to be strong swimmer in the sea. Speed races also offer ideal practise for the rescuing of a conscious and unconcious patients in sea conditions. Returning a casualty to shore through the surf is a difficult task and the best non-powered craft available for lifeguards to reach a casualty and return to shore is the malibu rescue board (Mal) used throughout training. The fastest non powered craft known as the Surf Ski which is also raced as a perfect way to practise skills of negotiating surf. Fitness plays a key role in lifeguarding and races and other team relays all strengthen an individuals athletic ability and enables vital seconds to be saved in responding to a situation. Beach events such as sprints all hone lifeguards responses and actions to sounds as well as giving them a cutting edge on explosive starts. For more information on Lifesaving sport events, visit the SLSA Wales calander page.
Surf Race - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to swim 400 meters through the surf. Start and finish are on the beach.
Board Race - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to paddle with rescue board 600 meters through the surf. Start and finish are on the beach.
Ski Race - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to paddle with a surf ski 700 meters through the surf. Start and finish are on the beach.
Beach Sprint - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to run 90 meters on the beach.
Beach Run - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to run one or two kilometres on the beach.
Beach Flags - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver lies down in the sand. After the whistle they run 20 meters trying to obtain a baton (beach flag) in the sand. There are fewer batons than lifesavers. They who get a baton go to the next round.
Oceanman/Oceanwoman - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to do the surf race, the board race, the ski race and a final run on the beach. This discipline is the ultimate discipline during competitions in ocean events.
Rescue Tube Rescue Race - Team event where the victim is to save by the rest of the team. The lifesaver runs into the water with his/her fins and rescue tube, pulls on the fins and swims to the victim who is waiting at a buoy. After fixing the victim in the rescue tube they return to the beach where two helpers are standing in the water take over the rescue and carry the victim into the finish on to the beach.
Board Rescue Race - Team event of two competitors where the swimmer swims to the buoy. When arriving he will be saved by the lifesaver on a rescue board. They both paddle back to the beach.
Oceanman/Oceanwoman (former Taplin) Relay - Lifesaving relay where one lifesaver does the surf race, one lifesaver the board race, one lifesaver the ski race and another lifesaver a final run on the beach.
Beach Relay - A relay runs 4 x 90 meters over the beach.
100 m Manikin Carry With Fins - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver with fins swims 50 meters, dives to recover a submerged manikin to the surface and carries the manikin the remaining distance.
100 m Rescue Medley - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver swims 50 meters freestyle, dives and swims underwater (15m for women, 20m for men) to recover a submerged manikin to the surface and carries the manikin the remaining distance.
50 m Manikin Carry - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver swims 25 meters freestyle, dives to recover a submerged manikin to the surface and carries the manikin the remaining distance.
100 m Manikin Tow With Fins - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver with fins and rescue tube swims 50 meters freestyle, fixes the rescue tube around a floating manikin and tows it the remaining distance.
200 m Super Lifesaver - Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver swims 75 meters freestyle, dives to recover a submerged manikin and carries the manikin 25 meters, dons his fins and a rescue tube and swims 50 meters freestyle, fixes the tube around a floating manikin and tows it the remaining distance.
4x50 m Obstacle Relay - Each lifesaver swims 50 meters freestyle passing under 2 obstacles.
4x25 m Manikin Relay - Each lifesaver carries the manikin 25 meter
4x50 m Medley Relay - The first lifesaver swims 50m freestyle, the second one 50m with fins, the third 50m pulling a rescue tube and number 4 with fins takes over the rescue tube and tows number 3 holding the rescue tube.
Line Throw - Team event of two competitors where the lifesaver throws a lifeline to a victim in the water and pulls him to the poolside.
CLEAN SPORT - ANTI-DOPING
All athletes have the right to compete in sport knowing that they, and their competitors, are clean. We believe in clean sport and work in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and our International Federation (ILSE) to ensure that the integrity of our sport is protected.
The anti-doping rules of SLSA Wales are the rules published by UK Anti-Doping (or its successor), as amended from time to time. If you are a member of SLSA Wales then the anti-doping rules apply to you, regardless of what level you participate at. You can find the UK Anti-Doping Rules here.
Breaking the anti-doping rules can result in a ban from all sport. The Code outlines theAnti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs). Athletes and athlete support personnel need to make sure they are fully aware of these violations, and the consequences of breaking them. For more information and what this means for those individuals, click here.
Top Tips for Clean Sport
An athlete is responsible for anything found in their system, regardless of how it got there or whether there is any intention to cheat.
UKAD’s 100% me Clean Sport App can also be downloaded from iTunes, Google Player Windows Live Store, for essential anti-doping information.
The Prohibited List
All prohibited substances and methods in Code-compliant sports are outlined in the Prohibited List. The Prohibited List is managed and coordinated by WADA, found on the WADA website here. The List is updated each year, coming into effect on 1st January. It is possible for WADA to make changes to the List more than once a year, but they must communicate such changes three months before they come into effect.
Before taking any medication (whether from a doctor or purchased over the counter), athletes must check to make sure it doesn’t contain any prohibited substances. Medications (ingredients or brand name) can be checked online at Global DRO. For more information on checking medications, visit UKAD’s website here.
Taking Nutritional Supplements
UKAD always advises a food first approach to nutrition, as there are no guarantees that any supplement product is free from prohibited substances. Visit the Informed Sport website to check whether supplements have been batch-tested. More advice on managing supplement risks can be found on UKAD’s Supplement Hub here.
Applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)
If an athlete with a legitimate medical condition needs to use a prohibited substance or method, they will need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). This is only accepted if there are no other suitable permitted medications or treatments that can be used, and there is a strict, detailed process to determine this. Athletes can find out more information about the TUE process on the UKAD website here and use the TUE Wizard to find out whether they need to apply for a TUE and who to submit their application to.
Protect Your Sport
Speak out if you feel there’s something wrong - no matter how small. UKAD guarantee that your identity will always be kept 100% confidential.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions about the anti-doping rules. As well as asking SLSA Wales athletes may also contact UKAD directly, who will be able to answer any questions and provide guidance. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 207 842 3450.
Regular updates from UKAD can also be found in the news section of their website, or on their Twitter account: @ukantidoping
Photo credits Tony John