Lifesaving Sport

The Royal Life Saving Society UK is the National Governing Body for pool-based Lifesaving Sport - a sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation. Lifesaving Sport is the only sport whose skills are first learned for humanitarian purposes.

As showcased in our new promotional video, Lifesaving Sport is a competitive and dynamic international sport, with a variety of fun and challenging activities that take place in and out of the water at swimming pools and the beach. It is also an important vehicle to engage young people in lifesaving and support drowning prevention. 

Published: 30 November 2021
Updated: 1 December 2021

As Lifesaving Sport 2020 marked the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a long wait to get back in the pool competing again, but 16th October 2021 marked the return of Lifesaving Sport with our Lifesaving Challenge 2021 in Leeds, and what a weekend it was. “We are back” was the phrase uttered by so many.

This year was a fun twist on what we are used to as we thought hard about events that would encourage Speed and Lifesaving Championship athletes to compete, as well as balancing the need to protect athletes, spectators and volunteers of any risk associated with COVID-19.

What a celebration. We have never known an event filled with so much joy. We were all so pleased just to be there, and to be there together. Old friends were joined by new faces, tales were told and medals were won. Our Lifesaving Family was back together again!

We welcomed new family members, cheered our teammates and applauded the winners. Every single competitor had a smile on their face, as they were so happy to smell the chlorine, hear the roar of a crowd and just be together. And it wasn’t just our competitors; our officials, referees, equipment team, recorders and competitor liaison were all delighted to be back. Not to mention the countless volunteers that we couldn’t compete without.

Old jokes were re-told, personal bests were achieved, and some very impressive racing took place. It was a pleasure to see established clubs taking new clubs under their wings and competitors being mentored and all the while our army of volunteers made it all possible.

Congratulations are in order to RLSS Boscombe for taking part in their first ever national lifesaving sport event.

We took so much for granted “before” covid-19, but no longer, and it resulted in one of our favourite competitions ever. Reuniting with old friends and making new ones. Pure joy. thank you, Lifesaving Family, let’s do it all over again at RLSS UK National Speed in March 2022. See you in Sheffield.

Well done to Donna

Donna Wickens of Crawley Town broke the European Female Masters record in the 50m Manikin carry with a time of 00’49”31 and the European Female Masters record in the 110m obstacle Swim with an incredible time of 01’22”57.

Did You Know

One of RLSS UK’s strategic foundations is to be environmentally responsible. At a competition we would normally print 3683 pages, but at Lifesaving Challenge 2021 we reduced our printing by 61% - only printing 1426 pages.


To see the results from Lifesaving Sport Challenge 2021 visit our results page.