The Liverpool Aquatics Centre has hosted the National Speed Lifesaving Championships for the first time. Over 400 athletes took part in the swimming extravaganza run by the Royal Life Saving Society with European Championships places were up for grabs.
Participants enjoyed a warm Scouse welcome in freezing Wavertree. Team GB world champion World Champion and Liverpool fan, James Blaby said: “It’s my first time in this area and in this pool so it’s great to compete here.”
Leeds Phoenix’s coach, Matt Jagger praised the intimate venue: “You get to spend more time talking to people and people have liked that!”
The small common area which leads out to the 20m pool for warm ups was often full of people from different clubs and families hanging out in between heats. The pool was also connected to the main competition area, where the stands were filled with proud friends and family.
Event Organiser, Teresa Myatt, a former competitor, now devotes her time to making sure the competition runs smoothly. She said: “Some of the people I used to compete with when I was young, I now officiate with!”
The competition is devoted to pool and beach lifeguards. With each heat, competitors carry the manikins from either the end of the pool, halfway through, or underwater. Myatt hopes no young person has to ever save a life.