Forty-one teams from 11 universities across the UK put their skills to the test in the UK’s biggest and most successful university lifesaving competition to date.

Run by the British Universities Lifesaving Clubs’ Association (BULSCA), the first national competition of the academic year took place last weekend at University of Birmingham’s Munrow Sports Centre.

The competition puts competitors lifesaving skills to the test with two simulated emergency response in the water and on dry land. Competitors also demonstrated their fitness and lifesaving skills through a line (rope) throw race, a 50 metre swim tow timed race and a relay race made up of 50 metres front crawl, 50 metres swimming with fins on, 50 meters swimming with a torpedo buoy and 50 metres towing a casualty with a torpedo buoy.

The competition is broken down into two categories – Freshers and Overall. The Freshers category are lifesavers in teams of four, who are competing for the first time in a university competition, whereas teams in the Overall category are made up of lifesavers in teams of four, who are regular participants in university competitions.

University of Sheffield Team B were named the top team in the Freshers category, second place went to University of Birmingham Team B with Bristol University Team B coming in third.

Oxbridge Team A, made up of students from University of Oxford and University of Cambridge, were named the top team in the Overall category, second place went to University of Birmingham Team A and University of Bristol Team A were third.

The competition is based on key principles of lifesaving and tests competitors’ CPR, in-water rescue and fitness skills. Assessed internally, the event allows universities from across the UK to demonstrate and compete using key lifesaving skills.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the Drowning Prevention Charity, is the governing body for Lifesaving Sport. RLSS UK’s Chief Executive, Di Steer said: “This has been another fantastic first BULSCA competition of the year. It is great to see so many new university students from across the UK taking part in Lifesaving Sport.

“Lifesaving Sport is not only a great way to make new friends when you first start at a university, it gives students essential water safety education but also skills that can save their own life and lives of others.”

BULSCA’s Club Development Officer, Rebecca Ewers said: “We were happy to see such a high level of participation across university clubs. It was incredible seeing some universities bringing such large squads, in one case bringing eight teams. “It was a fantastic first competition of the university season, kicking of our 15th anniversary in style, with our biggest ever number of teams. Well done to all the competitors.”

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