Published 6 June 2016 

Seizures in sports halls, heart attacks in gyms and blackouts in pools are just some of the situations where the finalists of Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) and IQL UK Awards 2016 have saved lives.

The annual awards recognise and celebrate the training and development of lifeguards and the vital contribution that centres make to water safety and drowning prevention in their local communities. Yet, the shortlist for this year’s awards also demonstrate that not all life-saving takes place in a swimming pool.

For example, a lifeguarding team at Alfreton Leisure Centre prevented the death of a man who suffered cardiac arrest while working out in the gym, while lifeguards were called to perform CPR and use an AED to resuscitate a badminton player at Ripley Leisure Centre.

The shortlist also includes a lifeguard who rescued a child who had stopped breathing under water and a group of lifeguards who saved the life of a gym user when visiting Wycombe Leisure Centre for a training exercise.

“It’s often assumed that lifeguards are only responsible for what happens in and around swimming pools, but as our annual awards show lifeguards are required to use their skills to save lives in all areas of sports and leisure centres,” says Martin Symcox, Director of IQL UK.

“We have been overwhelmed by the quality of entrants to this year’s awards and congratulate all those who have reached the finals. The awards showcase some of the fantastic work being done to save lives, raise awareness and prevent drowning in and around pools,” he says.

The winners will be announced at the RLSS UK & IQL UK Awards 2016, held on Friday 1 July at Staverton Park in Daventry.


The shortlist for the RLSS UK and IQL UK Awards 2016:


Single Site Approved Training Centre

  • York Sports Village
  • Totton Health & Leisure (New Forest District Council)
  • Plymouth Life Centre


Multi-Site Approved Training Centre (2-15 Sites)

  • Active Luton, Wigmore Hall
  • Leeds City Council
  • Glasgow Life


Multi-Site Approved Training Centre (15+ Sites)

  • Fusion Lifestyle
  • 1Life Management Solutions Ltd
  • Places for People Leisure Management


 Trainer Assessor of the Year

  • Nicholas Clayton
  • Sheila Pearce
  • Donna Bristoll


National Trainer Assessor of the Year

  • Michelle Keeling
  • Graeme Morgan
  • Tom Peonides


RLSS UK Lifeguard of the Year

  • Kelli Smith
  • Daniel Crook
  • Charlie Abbott


RLSS UK Lifeguard Team of the Year

  • Avoniel Leisure Centre Pool
  • Plymouth Life Centre
  • Places for People Leisure Management – Jake, Michael, Sophie, Dean & Sean
  • Places for People Leisure Management – Jake, John, Scott, Sean, Nicola, Leanne, Sebastian


 Special Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Lifesaving in the Community

  • Julie Lane
  • Jacob Hoy