Two members of Loughborough Students Lifesaving Club (LSLC) have been chosen to represent England at the Commonwealth Pool Lifesaving Championships to be held in Durban, South Africa on September 27.

Branwen Harris, a recent graduate in Psychology at Loughborough, has been chosen to represent in the 50 metre Manikin Carry Event, Medley Relay, Manikin Relay, and Obstacle Relay. An impressive achievement given Branwen, christened ‘Super Bran’ by the club, has been in the sport for less than a year.

Paul Ellard, a Economics Undergraduate and Training Officer of LSLC last year, has also been chosen to represent England in the 200m Super Lifesaver,  a culmination of all the other events and 100m Manikin Carry.

Following a disappointing season for the LSLC, two international selections could signal an upturn in the club’s fortunes for the new academic year.

Nicola Keenan, LSLC Chair, along with 5 other delegates from across the UK were selected to represent the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and the British University Life Saving Clubs Association (BULSCA) at the Volunteer Together Seminar that took place in Iceland at the start of July.

The aim of the 10 day seminar was to introduce different lifesaving organisations from across Europe and gain an insight into the work that each organisation does, particularly in the youth field. The host organisation Iceland Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR), were joined by Czech Water Rescue from the Czech Republic as well as DLRG and THW from Germany.

The seminar consisted of icebreaker games to introduce all the delegates, group discussions into the specific work with young people, workshops into getting more youth involved and brainstorming sessions into recommendations for the future.

The delegates also took part in adventurous activities and training such as scaling a glacier, zip wire, caving, sea rescue, sailing and tunnelling.  As well as the trip being an insight into the practicalities into rescue in such an unpredictable country such as Iceland, delegates were able to experience some of the more relaxing aspects of Icelandic life such as a trip to the capital Reykjavik.

The last three days in Iceland were spent using what we had learnt throughout the beginning of the trip and experiencing youth work first hand at the National Jamboree, held in Dalvik, in the North of Iceland. The Jamboree had local rescue groups travelling to the camp from across Iceland and integrating for scheduled activities from 8am until midnight. The activities included abseiling, urban rescue, first aid, team building, search and rescue techniques which demonstrated the enthusiasm, wealth of knowledge and dedication from the young people who travelled across the country for the bi-annual event.

After the trip, the UK delegates were invited to present what they had learnt to senior members of the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) at their Head Office.

LSLC can now look ahead to further opportunities over the next few years include a similar exchange hosted in the UK, an invitation to the Czech Lifesaving Grand Prix and Youth Seminar as well as local club exchanges with the DLRG in Germany.


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