From retaining young swimmers to fostering strong relationships within the community and having the opportunity to train lifesavers of the future; James Long, RLSS UK’s Community Development Manager, shares all you need to know about the newly launched National Lifesaving Academy (NLA) Sport Award, and why your lifesaving or aquatics club should offer it:

So what is the NLA Sport Award? 

Developed by Lifesaving Sport experts at RLSS UK to enhance lifesaving skills and build fitness, the Sport Awards are part of the NLA programme; and can be completed either on their own or in conjunction with the Bronze Awards.   

With the aim of increasing participation in lifesaving, which is the only sport to have humanitarian origins, the NLA Sport Awards provide the tools for you to equip young people with highly transferable skills across a range of environments.  

Originally created to improve the physical and mental agility of lifeguards, Lifesaving Sport has grown into an international competitive swimming discipline that tests fitness, rescue and first aid skills. What’s great about this sport is that it’s not just about physical aptitude – it’s also about the ability to prioritise, adapt and show initiative.  

Why should my lifesaving or swimming club take up the NLA Sport Award? 

 Here’s just a handful of benefits of getting your club involved – to name a few: 

  • Retention of club members  

  • Increase in member participation  

  • Develop an environment of teamwork and camaraderie amongst members  

  • Promotion of your club through lifesaving sports events  

  • Members learn life skills  

  • It’s a social and welcoming sport  

  • Community awareness of water safety 

To get involved with the NLA Sport Award can also help to make a real difference by teaching lifesaving skills to a wider audience something very rewarding which can also bring a deep sense of mental wellbeing and fulfilment.  

Is it hard to implement? 

Not at all – in fact, it couldn’t be easier! It requires a minimal start-up pack; you can set up a partnership agreement with your leisure facility regarding equipment. All you’ll need to do is put aside one session a week of your competitive sessions or add a session for lifesaving sport/skills.  

If you need any advice or support in helping to make waves towards offering this exciting award, RLSS UK has got you covered and can help promote your club to engage with current members. 

Ready to take the plunge? 

If you’re looking to raise the profile of your club and gain more attraction from members, both current and new, then this is the perfect initiative for your club to get involved in! 

Learn more about NLA Sport Awards and how you can get involved