This April will see TV star Trent Maxwell, more commonly known as ‘Lifeguard Maxi’, swap Australia’s world-famous Bondi Beach for the waters of the UK and Ireland on a tour to spread the message about water safety.

To kickstart the tour, Maxi will be joined by former Olympian, Sports Scientist, Physical Activity Expert and trainer to the stars, Professor Greg Whyte OBE for an open water sunrise swim at Caversham Lakes in Reading on 8 April.

For the rest of his trip Maxi will be working with national charity and leader in lifesaving and lifeguarding training across the UK and Ireland, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) to volunteer his time to deliver the important water safety messages to children across the UK and Ireland.

On his open water sunrise swim, Maxi said: “An open water swim with the legend Greg Whyte will be a brilliant, but chilly start to my tour! I can’t wait to then set off and meet with children across the UK to spread the word about water safety. Delivering these key messages might mean that lives can be saved this summer and beyond.”

Greg added: “'As a result of lockdown 2 million children missed the opportunity to swim leading to 1 million children leaving primary school unable to swim. Maxi's campaign, in collaboration with RLSS UK, to deliver his water safety message has never been more important. I can't wait to swim at sunrise with Maxi, it will be a few degrees colder than Bondi!”

Open water swimming has seen a rise in popularity over recent years with its benefits well documented. Charity Director at RLSS UK, Lee Heard said: “There are numerous fantastic benefits to participating in open water swimming such as boosting your immune system; activating endorphins for a natural high; improving your circulation; reducing stress; as well as being a great form of exercise.

“To ensure that open water swimming can be enjoyed safely, we at the Royal Life Saving Society UK, have worked with Professor Greg Whyte to devise a cold water exposure 2 week home plan – Sponge to Plunge. The plan is a safe way to reduce the impact of cold water immersion so please take a look if you are looking to take the plunge!”

Ahead of his tour, where Maxi will visit RLSS UK Lifesaving Clubs to meet as many children and Rookie Lifeguards as possible, he added: “I want to meet as many kids as I can throughout April so together with RLSS UK we can prevent drowning this summer.

“Lifesaving clubs are at the heart of a community, they support young people and their families, so we all enjoy water safely, and return home at the end of day. They have been hit hard in the pandemic so we want to deliver some smiles, fun and most importantly valuable water safety lessons around the UK and Ireland ahead of summer.”

Maxi will be visiting numerous clubs throughout the UK and Ireland as he travels from Cornwall to Devon to South Wales to Nottingham. He then travels across the water to Ireland before returning to visit Scotland and the North East before he heads home for Sydney on 2 May.

Maxi and RLSS UK invite children from all communities to attend an event near them to learn more about water safety and discover a RLSS UK Lifesaving Club in their area.

Lee Heard added: “Delivering water safety education is vitally important and working with Maxi to speak to even more young people is something we are excited about. In July 2021 we had 49 accidental drownings in just two weeks in UK waters, so delivering water safety messages such as this will help to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy water safely in the future.”

To help deliver the message Lifeguard Maxi and RLSS UK are calling for donations to help fund the not-for-profit tour to deliver the message to as many children in the UK and Ireland as possible.

Maxi added: “We would love for you to give what you can and feel part of something special that is happening to prevent drowning this summer.”

All donors will be entered into a draw to win either: a chance to meet Maxi in person at an event in England, Scotland or Ireland; a signed book pack of Maxi’s four books with a Lifeguard Maxi pencil case and signed photograph; or a Maxis Rescue Squad T-shirt and one year’s membership to Maxi’s Rescue Squad online education program with a pencil case and signed photographs.

Donate to the help spread water safety messages and prevent drownings 

Find out more about Sponge to Plunge