Key partnership set to SH₂OUT about safe open water swimming

25 January 2017

Royal Life Saving Society UK and British Triathlon launch joint strategy to set standards and grow safe open water swimming.

British Triathlon and the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the UK’s drowning prevention charity, have today (25 January) launched a key strategy to help drive the development of open water swimming.

Participation in open water swimming is growing and both organisations recognise the need to develop safe swim sites to ensure delivery of a positive open water swimming experience.

SH₂OUT is the new identity for the partnership and supports the growth of open water swimming.

The joint venture aims to help promote safety and enjoyment in open water swimming with five key strategies –

  • Safe Venues – delivering a publicly recognised quality standard for open water swimming venues
  • Quality Event – ensuring open water swimming events are delivered to approved standards
  • Vibrant Community – providing a compelling offer to all open water swimming participants
  • Inspiring Participation – developing a clear and supportive participation pathway, enabling more people to take part in open water swimming
  • Industry Guidance – proving market leading education, support and advice to the triathlon and lifesaving communities

RLSS UK’s Chief Executive, Di Steer, said: “In recent years, open water swimming has been subject to rapid growth and RLSS UK and British Triathlon recognise the need for improved advice and guidance coupled with dedicated services to support the continued success and safe growth of the sport.

“SH₂OUT will ensure that open water swimming events and venues meet approved standards but will also help increase participation in the sport.”

Jack Buckner, Chief Executive of British Triathlon said: “British Triathlon is really excited to be working with RLSS UK to develop open water swimming. This is a great opportunity to work across the sector to ensure safe access and venues for open water swimming as well as increasing participation opportunities.”

Jane Nickerson, Chief Executive of The Amateur Swimming Association said: “We welcome the launch of this new strategy and look forward to working with RLSS UK and British Triathlon to promote safe open water swimming in our beautiful countryside. This will not only benefit the thousands of ASA Members who regularly swim outdoors during the year, but also the young people who learn about safe open water swimming through our annual Swim Safe programme.”

George Rawlinson, Chair of the National Water Safety Forum for the UK commented: “It is encouraging to see partnership working in action, if we are to achieve the goal as laid out in the National Strategy for Drowning Prevention to reduce accidental drowning fatalities in the UK by 50 per cent by 2026, collaboration is essential. The work being undertaken as part of the SH₂OUT initiative will help in our mission to ensure there is consistent guidance for the safe enjoyment and management of activities in, on and around water.”

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Phase 1 of this exciting initiative will launch at the beginning of May 2017, with a new website – www.sh2out.org and the SH₂OUT Venue Accreditation scheme will also open.

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 in June 2017.

About British Triathlon

British Triathlon is the Governing Body for the sport in Great Britain. It is responsible for raising the profile and delivering elite performance for Triathlon, Paratriathlon, Duathlon and Aquathlon in Great Britain. Triathlon is a fast growing, dynamic and modern Olympic and Paralympic sport with talented world class athletes, coaches and support staff, focused around delivering world-class success and inspiring participation.

Great Britain is home to double Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee, 2016 silver and 2012 bronze medallist Jonathan Brownlee and 2016 bronze medallist Vicky Holland. In addition, British paratriathletes returned from the Rio 2016 Paralympics with one gold, two silver and one bronze medal courtesy of Andy Lewis, Lauren Steadman, Alison Patrick (Guide: Hazel Smith) and Melissa Reid (Guide: Nicole Walters) respectively.

We also have a strong squad of highly world ranked elite triathletes, and emerging talent from our youth development programmes britishtriathlon.org/media/statistics.

There are over 1,200 triathlon events conducted in Great Britain each year, a figure which grew by 63% between 2012 and 2016. British Triathlon is committed to being a leader in environmental awareness in sport, protecting the environment in which we operate today and in the future.

British Triathlon is a beneficiary of the UK Sport Lottery funded World-Class Programmes (WCP). The programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk.

Visit britishtriathlon.org/media for downloadable image galleries, detailed athlete profiles, results, stats and information.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Porcha Treanor on 01789 774495 or email [email protected] or Olivia Healey on 01789 774 216 or email [email protected]