Published 26 June 2014

It was big celebrations all round at the prestigious Metropole Hotel in Birmingham on June 20, when the RLSS UK and IQL UK were joined by VIPs, an Olympian and shortlisted finalists at an awards ceremony to announce the 2014 RLSS UK and IQL UK Award winners.

Ten shortlisted finalists, competing for the titles of Pool Lifeguard of the Year, Pool Lifeguard Trainer Assessor of the Year and Approved Training Centre of the Year were greeted by Olympic medallist, Steve Parry, for the winner announcements and prize presentations.

Peter Moyes, President of RLSS UK, said: “These awards highlight an incredible commitment to water safety and drowning prevention made by individuals. Without the hard work and dedication of these people, I am confident we would not be celebrating a third year without a drowning in a lifeguarded pool in the UK.”


This award recognises the individual or team who has made an outstanding contribution to drowning prevention and water safety.

Award Sponsor

Lifesavers Direct, supplier of equipment, clothing and merchandise for poolside staff


  • Kirsty and Fiona Robertson, Loddon Valley Leisure Centre (1Life)
  • Hertfordshire Sports Village
  • Gracemount Leisure Centre

Winner: Hertfordshire Sports Village

RLSS UK IQL UK Awards 2014 – The Winners - 1

Lifeguarding team members Ben Taylor, Michelle Dalmeida, Grant Vinten, Natalie Davidson and David Springthorpe from Hertfordshire Sports Village (HSV) in Hatfield, received the award following an outstanding rescue in which they performed emergency care to a 62-year-old swimmer who suffered cardiac arrest in the pool.

Pool Lifeguard Ben Taylor noticed grandfather John Rowland experience difficulties in the water and supported by HSV Duty Assistant Michelle Dalmeida, the man was quickly removed from the water so the pair could administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Their colleagues David Springthorpe, HSV Duty Manager, supported by HSV Duty Assistants Grant Vinten and Natalie Davidson, brought over a defibrillator to deliver a shock that helped to re-start the man’s heart before the casualty was treated by paramedics.


This award is designed to recognise an outstanding commitment to the training of pool lifeguards. The winner has demonstrated exceptional instruction, assessment and development skills in pool lifeguard training.

Award Sponsor

Lifesavers Direct


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

Winner: Sue Cassidy, Trafford Community Leisure Trust

RLSS UK IQL UK Awards 2014 – The Winners - 2

Trafford Community Leisure Trust operates five swimming pools and Sue is responsible for the training of all initial and ongoing training of Lifeguards, Trainer Assessors, Rookie Lifeguards and Swimming Teachers.

In 2013 Sue delivered CPD training for 228 Lifeguards, ran 7 external NPLQ courses accommodating 63 candidates and saw 134 Lifeguards successfully achieve their NPLQ. She also steered 18 candidates successfully through there Trainer Assessor Course and ran three NRASTC courses, completed by 19 candidates.

In addition, 210 children participated in the Rookie Lifeguard programme.

Tara Dillon, Executive Director at the IQL UK says: “Sue is an incredibly dedicated individual. In addition to her day job, Sue has also played a vital role in the development of the 8th Edition NPLQ as part of the Education Committee and Steering Group. I am delighted that Sue’s hard work and contribution has been recognised with the winning of this award.”


This award recognises a clear dedication to the provision of pool lifeguard training, career development and the promotion of wider water safety message.

Award sponsor

As sponsor of the ‘Approved Training Centre of the Year’, Laerdal has donated a HeartStartFRx Defibrillator to the winning ATC. The RLSS UK and Laerdal work together to promote the life-saving benefits of leisure centres having access to an on-site Automated External Defibrillator (AED) when dealing with casualties who have suffered a cardiac arrest.


  • Everyone Active, Plymouth
  • 1Life (Formerly Leisure Connection)
  • Leeds Lifestyle & Leisure
  • Glasgow Life

Winner: 1Life (Formerly Leisure Connection)

RLSS UK IQL UK Awards 2014 – The Winners - 3

Throughout 2013 1Life operated 27 public swimming pools, eight hotel pools and employed 750 Pool Lifeguards, plus 45 Emergency Responders.

During this time, 36 pool rescues were successfully carried out by 1Life Pool Lifeguards, two of which required CPR to be administered on poolside. All casualties survived their near death experience thanks to the skill and dedication of the highly trained Pool Lifeguard team.

Ongoing staff training and development sits at the heart of the company’s pool safety and drowning prevention strategy. In 2013, a team of 48 Trainer Assessors completed training for 463 staff and 25 of the 27 facilities with pools utilised the National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers. More than 200 1Life swimming teachers hold the qualification and complete ongoing training to ensure Continuous Professional Development.

In November last year, 1Life appointed a dedicated National Pool Lifeguard Manager to ensure ongoing support and development for the growing team of NPLQ professional lifeguards operating across the company’s facility portfolio.

Through 1Life’s swim school engagement, more than 640 children have enrolled on the Rookie Lifeguarding programme, helping to ensure our future generation appreciates the danger water represents and also has an understanding of how to help others who find themselves in difficulty when in the water.

Tara Dillon added: “1Life is an excellent example of a Leisure Management company dedicated to the provision of a safe environment for swimmers.”

Steve Parry, Olympic swimmer and guest speaker at the event, said: “It was an honour to present awards to such inspiring people who have all risen to the very difficult challenge of saving the lives of those people who need them most.

“Every one of the finalists does a tremendous job, day in, day out and keep people safe, enabling them to enjoy swimming. I would never have been able to train in my sport as hard as I did without the support of my pool’s lifeguards who were there from the early hours of the morning till late at night. They really do a fantastic job and these awards, quite rightly honour these often unsung heroes.”