Published 7 July 2014

A record 981 lifeguards took part in the 9th annual CIMSPA & IQL UK Lifeguard Triathlon, which finished this week after a month of intense competition between teams and individuals across the UK.

57 pools from all four home nations hosted the competition, which is based on key principles of the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ), and tests lifeguards’ CPR, rescue swim and theory skills.

The individual male winner was Adam Frost, 19, from Knutsford Leisure Centre, who posted the second only ever perfect score of 100 to take his title. Speaking about this win Adam said: “The triathlon is a fantastic way to be recognised for achievement in the workplace. I’ve enjoyed the challenge and would like to thank the trainer assessors and colleagues both at Knutsford and within the Everybody Sport and Recreation Trust for their support and encouragement.”

Mike Harding, Knutsford group manager, made clear his trust is using the event as a key workforce development tool: “The Lifeguard Triathlon is a great initiative by CIMSPA and IQL UK. It has enabled The Everybody Sport and Recreation Trust to demonstrate a commitment to excellence and developing its staff. No-one typifies this better than Adam – he has worked very hard to achieve this. Well done!”

Alice Gibbs, 17, won the individual female award by the closest of margins, edging out her teammate, 16-year-old Becky Doran by just a half-point. Both are part of the Guildford Spectrum team from Surrey, who are one of only two facilities to have taken part in every previous competition.

In the best facility competition, decided by averaging the scores of each team’s leading four lifeguards, Frinton & Walton Swimming Pool in Essex took the final step up to the top of the podium after a third-place finish in 2012 and second place last year. They will now receive a champions’ plaque to display at their pool.

Looking back on the event, Tara Dillon, who is both executive director at IQL UK and interim chief operating officer at CIMSPA, commented: “With almost 1,000 lifeguards aiming for the three titles, Adam, Alice and the team at Frinton & Walton should be rightfully proud of their achievements today – this record-breaking event saw over 300 more lifeguards take part this year than last, and the competition was fiercer than ever.

“CIMSPA and IQL UK are now looking forward to returning valuable benchmarking data to the team managers so they can see how their lifeguards performed in comparison to the rest of the UK and identify training priorities to ensure their services continue to offer the highest safety standards to customers. Well done all and we hope to see next year’s event as enjoyable and successful as this year!”

Event results

Top 3 facilities;

  • Frinton & Walton Swimming Pool (Essex) – 96.3
  • Guildford Spectrum – 95.8
  • Horncastle Swimming Pool – 93.1

Top 3 males;

  • Adam Frost (Knutsford Leisure Centre) Age 19 – 100/100
  • James Whitfield (Frinton & Walton Swimming Pool) Age 26 – 99/100
  • Craig Scott (Guildford Spectrum ) Age 22 – 98.5/100

Top 3 females;

  • Alice Gibbs (Guildford Spectrum) Age 17 – 93/100
  • Becky Doran (Guildford Spectrum) Age 16 – 92.5/100
  • Sarah Charlesworth (Ponds Forge ISC) Age 20 – 91.5/100


  • 981 lifeguards took part, up 319 from 2013, and 253 more than the previous record (728 in 2010)
  • Individual winners receive trophies and the facility winner receives a plaque
  • The Top 100 lifeguards (50 male, 50 female) receive commendation certificates
  • Everybody Sport and Recreation Trust entered the largest number of teams: 7, with Crewe Swimming Pool winning the “local” title
  • 9 lifeguards aged 60 or over took part, the oldest being two 69-year-olds
  • Average CPR score went up for the 8th consecutive year

To see photo’s of all the winners and the full set of results visit the CIMSPA website.