Published: 26 September 2022

Since last year, when we brought you news about Izzy achieving a RLSS UK Gold Medallion at only 12 years old, we are really happy update you on her further successes.

Izzy Serventi joined Nantwich Lifesaving Club at the age of 7 after completing Stage 7 of the Learn to Swim programme. Wanting to do more than competitive swimming, Izzy started the RLSS UK Rookie Lifeguard programme and continued with the Learn to Swim programme. The Rookie Lifeguard programme teaches water safety and life support skills. Members of the club can also compete locally, regionally and nationally. By the age of 8 she had passed Stage 10 of the Learn to Swim programme at her local pool, and had moved onto the Rookie Lifeguard Silver Awards with Nantwich Lifesaving Club. By the age of 9, Izzy had completed the Rookie programme and came first in the RLSS Liverpool District Challenge Cup. Izzy was desperate to continue with her awards, but you have to be 12 to start the RLSS UK Survive and Save programme. We at the RLSS UK agreed to allow Izzy to start on the Survive and Save Medallions, as she had already achieved so much at such a young age that we didn’t want to hold her back. We’ve been  following her story ever since!

Two pictures showing people in the sea, taking part in the RLSS UK Beach Survive and Save assessment

The main challenges that Izzy has faced over the last 18 months have been pool closures, or changes to the way we can use the pool, or practice lifesaving, due to the Covid pandemic. She hasn't let it stop her training. She has been throwing ropes across the garden, practising first aid on her sister, and had to practice lifesaving tows on her mum in the pool as she wasn't allowed close contact with anyone who wasn't a family member. She has also struggled with being the only girl of her age being at this level at the club. It is quite a challenge when you are faced with training against people with years of experience, and even having to perform lifesaving moves on a boy. She’s had some wobbles, but has stuck to it, and is determined to beat the boys, and show how amazing she is. To help Izzy with her confidence, the club have allowed her to teach a group of Rookie Lifeguards, with the support of a former lifesaving champion. Her group love her, and they have already passed two of their bronze Rookie Lifeguard Awards!

In the last 12 months, Izzy has returned to the pool following the Covid lockdowns and pool closures. She has continued with the RLSS UK Medallions, and recently completed the prestigious Gold Medallion. She is the youngest person to have ever achieved this and she doesn't want to stop! The medallions test skills, speed and resilience, and Izzy is now training and competing with people over 16 years old. In 3 years she has gained the Bronze Medallion, the Bronze Sports Medallion and the Bronze Still Water Medallion, the Silver Medallion, the Silver Sports Medallion and the Silver Still Water Medallion. Her Gold award may seem like the icing on the cake, but in September 2022 she completed the Gold Still Water Medallion, and the Silver and Gold Beach Medallions. From our records, she is now the youngest person in the UK to ever achieve the RLSS UK Distinction Award. Izzy is like a turbo-powered mermaid!  

Three photos showing aspects of the RLSS UK's Stillwater assessment. 1) A person being rescued, 2) adminstering CPR, 3) a survival swim

Izzy has even inspired her mum to get involved! During the Covid lockdowns, she trained as a Rookie Lifeguard teacher, and is now an instructor at the Nantwich Lifesaving Club. Her younger sister Scarlett has also started on the Rookie Lifeguard programme.

One of Izzy's coaches, Julie Pearson, said: “Izzy is an inspirational example of someone who just loves being in the water. She’s a joy to coach and we hope she adds to her awards and goes from strength-to-strength.”

Izzy was nominated for the Junior Everybody Awards for two years on the run, but missed out on a trophy. This has made her even more determined to show the world what the RLSS UK do, and what competitive lifesaving is all about. It is a sport that you don't hear much about, but it is one that saves lives, and requires a huge amount of skill. This year she has been nominated for the Adult Everybody Awards, and is up against two other people for ‘Young Achiever of the Year’. The ceremony takes place in October, with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Eddie the Eagle Edwards handing out the awards. The RLSS UK, her whole family, and her local club, just want her to be rewarded for being such a remarkable young lady who has exceeded everyone's expectations and continues to make everyone very proud!

To find out more more about the RLSS UK Survive and Save programme click HERE