In January 1983 Mansfield Lifesaving Club was founded by Sue Wilkinson, Pat Mitchell, Marg Coleman, Gina Newman and John Swanwick. The club provided a generation of young people with the opportunity to learn about water safety and continues to do so today.

As a member of The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) they offer a full range of lifesaving awards, which they first started teaching at Mansfield Municipal Baths. In 1985 Don Etches joined the club and is now the main driving force for the club. Don enjoyed a long standing working partnership with Pat Mitchell who has just retired after serving the club as a volunteer for the full 30 years, a remarkable commitment.

Over the years the club has been based at a number of locations, firstly Mansfield Baths which later made way for the new Waters Meadow site and then Sherwood Baths was refurbished to become the now famous Rebecca Adlington Centre.

Each year the club presents members with their awards and Peter Moyes, the Deputy President of RLSS UK, was invited to present the 2012 awards to club members. Peter was delighted to be able to visit the club. . From Mansfield himself, Peter started his own swimming journey at the Municipal Baths and was instructed by John Swanwick on his first RLSS UK teacher’s course back in 1979.

Peter was joined by Councillors June Stendall, Joyce Bosnjak and Charles Hammersley, their support shows how important the club is to the local community. The club has also shown they have a sustainable future with three of the existing Instructors being ex-pupils and two new assistant Instructors also coming from the ranks of club members.

The celebrations closed with Peter and Councillor June Stendall presenting seven Distinction awards and a range of Rookie Lifeguard, Bronze Cross and Silver Cross awards.

Everyone at the event said a special thank you to Pat Mitchell for all her hard work and enthusiasm during her 30 years with the club.

If your club requires support then contact [email protected] the RLSS UK’s National Club & Volunteer Manager.