Former Olympian backing growth of safe open water swimming and drowning prevention for the charity following a summer of tragedy
World renowned Sports Scientist, Physical Activity Expert and trainer to the stars, Professor Greg Whyte OBE, has teamed up with the UK’s Drowning Prevention Charity.
The former Olympian will work with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) to help it to reach more people with its drowning prevention and water safety messages and, ultimately, save lives.
The news follows a summer in which 48* people tragically lost their lives in open water. Around 400 people die each year due to accidental drowning in the UK, the equivalent of one person every 20 hours. That’s more accidental fatalities annually than fire deaths in the home or cycling deaths on the road**.
And RLSS UK works tirelessly to raise awareness of the issue through education, campaigns, events, lifesaving training and working at Government level to get water safety firmly on the political agenda.
Greg is set to support the charity with its aims, including a particular focus on its open water related messages and activities due to his passion for open water swimming where safety is a priority.
Technical Director at RLSS UK and open water swimming lead, Adrian Lole, said: “We are thrilled that Greg is showing his support for the charity and will be an important partner. We have worked with him in the past and his passion and genuine interest in what we do has been clear.
“His positive attitude is so inspiring, we hope that together we can help more and more people to enjoy open water swimming safely and drive the drowning prevention messages home.
“We’re sure that with his help and influence we can get the issue of drowning even more firmly on the agenda and encourage people to enjoy water safely with the ultimate aim of saving the unnecessary loss of life we tragically see to drowning each year.”
RLSS UK wants people to enjoy open water but safely as more people who drown lose their lives in inland open water sites than on the coast each year. And with open water swimming the fastest growing sport in the world, it aims to campaign for more, safe, lifeguarded open water swimming sites across the country.
The charity and Greg will help raise awareness of RLSS UK’s work and profile as the leading provider of water safety and drowning prevention education and training in a variety of ways including supporting its numerous campaigns and lifeguard/lifesaving award schemes, attending and swimming in the charity’s Open Water Festivals and meeting with MPs at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention of which RLSS UK is the Secretariat.
Greg said: “I am delighted to support RLSS UK in its work to promote water safety and prevent drowning. Having been a lifeguard, as well as being a competitive swimmer in both pool and open water for over four decades, I am passionate about promoting safe swimming for all.
“Swimming should be a part of everyone’s life and together with the team at RLSS UK, I am looking forward to helping make a positive impact on water safety and drowning prevention.”
For more information on RLSS UK –
Visit our website at www.rlss.org.uk
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram – @RLSSUK
Visit our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/RLSSUK
Call – 0300 3230 096