Published 6 June 2014

Centres that train lifeguards with the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s national qualification and lifeguards themselves have been shortlisted for top honours to recognise their achievements.

RLSS UK Approved Training Centres (ATCs) are in the running for the Approved Training Centre of the Year Award, to be presented at the ceremony, hosted by the RLSS UK and its trading subsidiary, IQL UK, later this month and with accolades presented by Olympic medallist swimmer Steve Parry.

Plymouth Life Centre (Everyone Active), Leeds Sport and Active Lifestyles, 1Life and Glasgow Life have been recognised for showing an exceptional commitment to pool lifeguard training and water safety awareness and a clear dedication to the provision of pool lifeguard training and career development.

Along with Approved Training Centre of the Year, seven other shortlisted finalists have been named after beating off tough competition from others in their field. They include:

Shortlisted Winners of Pool Lifeguard (or Lifeguard Team) of the Year

  • Kirsty and Fiona Robertson, Loddon Valley Leisure Centre (1Life)
  • Lifeguards from Hertfordshire Sports Village: Ben Taylor, Michelle Dalmeida, David Springthorpe, Grant Vinten and Natalie Davidson
  • Lifeguards from Gracemount Leisure Centre: Tommy Harrison (Gym Supervisor), David McGinley (Gym Instructor), Lee Birrell (Supervisor), Jess Paton (Receptionist) Paul Murray (Leisure Attendant) Jimmy Gunn (Leisure Attendant), Ed Bethune (Duty Manager) and Craig Cassidy (Duty Manager)

Shortlisted Winners of Pool Lifeguard Trainer Assessor of the Year

  • Jodie Lord, Salford Community Leisure Centre
  • Sue Cassidy, Sale Leisure Centre
  • Tanya Bartram, at Lord Butler Fitness & Leisure Centre in Saffron Waldon (1Life)

There are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK and around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards in the UK are trained by the RLSS UK and their trading subsidiary, IQL UK, through the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ).

Tara Dillon, Executive Director at IQL UK, said: “Since launching our first awards ceremony last year, we’ve had a fantastic response and the standard of nominations this year has been extremely high.

“Hearing such inspirational stories about our high calibre people working in pools, health clubs and hotels across the UK, really highlights how much importance the sector places on the provision of a safe, water environment for pool swimmers.

“The awards give pool lifeguards, trainers and leisure centres, and all those involved in raising awareness of water safety, the chance to recognise and celebrate those who continually raise the standard and make such a valuable contribution to pool safety and drowning prevention. Without this incredible commitment from individuals I am confident we would not be marking a third year without a single pool drowning in a lifeguarded pool throughout the UK.”

The awards will take place on Friday, June 20h at the annual IQL UK Seminar being hosted at The Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham.

The Approved Training Centre of the Year Award is sponsored by Laerdal, manufacturer of medical equipment, and the winner will receive a HeartStartFRx Defibrillator. The award supports the efforts of Laerdal and the RLSS UK in encouraging all leisure centres to have an AED on-site in order to improve casualties’ chances of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.