Britain’s Lifesavers return back to fight for national title in Olympic grounds

15 February 2016

Speeds 2016

More than 600 lifesaving athletes are set to battle it out next weekend (Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 February) for the prestigious honour of being crowned National Champion at the iconic home of the 2012 Olympics.

Competitors from across the UK and Ireland will take part in Royal Life Saving Society UK’s (RLSS UK) National Speed Championships 2016 at the London Aquatics Centre as the society also celebrates its 125th anniversary.

Athletes aged between 12 and 78 will join members of the GB and Northern Ireland lifesaving team in competing for the titles including National Champion and to break national records.

The weekend’s event will see athletes battle it out to see who is the quickest using real water rescue techniques including manikin carry, line throw and obstacle races, with both individuals and teams competing.

This is the second year running the Championships will be held at the Olympic venue in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with around 150 RLSS UK volunteers and Park Champion Volunteers hoping to make it another success.

Di Steer, RLSS UK Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are particularly excited that Speeds 2016 is being held at the London Aquatics Centre again, after the success we had at the venue last year, and can’t wait to see as athletes push themselves for places on the Great Britain team as well as national titles.

“The event, which is the largest of its kind in the UK, is sure to be a great success as always with lifesaving athletes from across the UK and Ireland joining to compete for national titles in what is the only sport that has a humanitarian foundation.

“At this event last year, 25 national records were broken and we hope more will be broken this year.”

The National Speed Championships help promote lifesavers’ skills, knowledge and techniques and also play an important role in spreading the society’s water safety messages as the drowning prevention charity.

Members of the public are invited to see this unique sport in an Olympic setting, learn about water safety and take part in family fun activities.

Entrance to the event is £2 per person.

For more information on Lifesaving Sport and the National Speed Championships 2016 –  

Visit our website at

Follow us on Twitter – @RLSSUK

Visit our Facebook page –

Call – 01789 773994


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Notes to Editors –

For interview opportunities with RLSS UK spokesperson please contact Olivia Healey on 01789 774 216 or email [email protected].

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is the drowning prevention charity.  Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the RLSS UK aims to prevent drowning through water safety education.

Through its trading subsidiary, IQL UK, there are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK.

RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range of lifesaving skills ranging from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills. Programmes include Rookie Lifeguard (for eight to12-year–olds), Survive and Save (for 12 years+) and Save a Baby’s Life (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).

The RLSS UK (then the Life Saving Society) was formed in 1891. In 1904, as there was great support for the organisation from the Royal Family, the society was granted permission to use the Royal title and became the Royal Life Saving Society.

Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK to cut down the number of accidental drowning that occur each year and support families affected by drowning. The next campaign will run from June 18 – 26, 2016.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Porcha Treanor on 01789 774 495 or email [email protected] or Olivia Healey on 01789 774 216 or email [email protected].