Former world swimming champion Mark Foster unveiled as guest of honour at the Royal Life Saving Society’s (RLSS UK) National Speed Championships 2015.

More than 500 lifesavers are set to make a splash this weekend (Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 March) when they battle it out in a prestigious competition at the iconic home of the 2012 Olympics.

Competitors from across the UK and Ireland will take part in RLSS UK’s National Speed Championships 2015 at the London Aquatics Centre.

Former Olympic swimmer and eight times world record holder Mark Foster will be there to meet the athletes, who are all members of the drowning prevention charity.

He said: “’I’m really proud to have been invited to the RLSS UK National Speed Championships and look forward to attending the drowning prevention charity’s event this weekend.

“It’s going to be a really exciting weekend of Lifesaving Sport at the London Aquatics Centre.”

Athletes aged between 12 and 70 will join members of the GB and Northern Ireland team in competing for the title of National Champion during the event.

It is the first time the Championships have been held at the Olympic venue in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It means the lifesavers will have the chance to compete in the wake of sporting greats like American swimmer Michael Phelps, who won six medals there in 2012.

This weekend’s competitors will be hoping to break a few records of their own.

Last year’s event in Sheffield saw 26 new lifesaving records set and a number of athletes qualify for the World Lifesaving Championships in France.

Elouise Greenwood, RLSS UK National Participation Manager, said: “We are particularly excited that Speeds 2015 is being held at the London Aquatics Centre, the home of the 2012 Olympic Games.

“We are also pleased to announce that we have had a fantastic 25 per cent increase in entries this year – breaking all ever records!

“The event, which is the largest of its kind in the UK, is sure to be a great success as always with lifesaving athletes from across the UK and Ireland joining to compete for national titles in what is the only sport that has a humanitarian foundation.

“At this event last year 26 national records were broken and, with the inspirational venue this year, we hope to emulate 2014’s success.”

The National Speed Championships help promote lifesavers’ skills, knowledge and techniques and also play an important role in spreading the society’s water safety messages as the drowning prevention charity.