Thanks to guest blogger Emily for sharing her lifesaving experiences with us and her excitement of competing in RLSS UK National Speed Championships which are taking place at Ponds Forge, Sheffield in March.

Hi, my name is Emily, I’m 13 years old and I am in the Beeslack Lifesaving Club based in Penicuik, Scotland. Over the past 5 years, I have increasingly grown to love lifesaving and it has become my main hobby! I first joined the Beeslack club when I was in Primary 5 with my friend, Jenni. I enjoyed it but my friend and I usually kept ourselves to ourselves and didn’t really interact with the other team members. When Jenni moved to England I was forced to speak to others in the club and before I knew it, my whole club experience had changed!

Suddenly, overnight, the club changed. New coaches arrived and the training completely transformed. The coaches then started urging the club to compete. To be honest, I wasn’t very keen at first, but when I started, I didn’t want to stop! We began competing around Scotland and then Northern England which I found I thoroughly enjoyed.

It wasn’t until the Scottish Lifesaving Championships in 2012 that I started having success at competitions. My partner, Rebecca, and I placed first in all 4 events and took the Junior Girls 12-14 over-all first place. We were also awarded the Leeds Permanent Cup for the best competitor/s. It was a massive shock as we had never placed in a competition before…never mind coming first! Then we competed in the U14’s pairs and finished 3rd. We travelled together down to Sheffield in December for the National Lifesaving Championships, our first National competition, it was very exciting! It was strange how quickly we went from competing and not placing to representing Scotland. The one thing that stayed the same was the fun and hilarity that every competition provides. Sheffield was particularly different because of; the size of the pool, the scale of the competition, the buzzing atmosphere, the excitement of the journey there and back, staying in a hotel and exploring a new town.

At the start of February Rebecca and I competed individually in the Scottish Speeds. It had been a while since I had competed individually and in a speeds competition so I was delighted (and very surprised) when I won gold for the rescue medley and silver for the manikin carry. My first medals at a speed competition! So now I am very much looking forward to my first experience at the National Speeds. Although I am obviously nervous, I am also really excited because I have that little bit of experience from the National Lifesaving Championships behind me, so I know it will be heaps of fun! And of course, friends and coaches from the club, Rebecca, Ian and Ben, will also be competing which makes me that little bit more confident as having friends around you at competitions is not only fun but important.

Since winning the Scottish Lifesaving Championships, my training routine has increased. I now train at least 3 times a week; twice with the club and once at the local pool with friends from the club. The Beeslack coaches are superb, I really do learn something new every week! Without them, there’s no way I would be in the position I am just now.

I am really looking forward to the Speeds in March as competing at that level is always exciting, thrilling and nerve racking! Of course, I hope to do well, but at this stage, having a good time is most important to me, although, I suppose you never know what might happen. It only takes a stroke of luck like Rebecca and I had at the Scottish championships. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!…

If you want to share your lifesaving experiences or are competing in RLSS UK National Speed Championships 2013 then click here.