The Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth held the all new Commonwealth Festival of Lifesaving from 10th – 13th August in Durban. Victorian lifesaving members featured in both the Australian national team and development team. The outstanding result was that the Australian teams were announced as the Commonwealth Champions in both divisions.
“There were lots of very good results and it was great to see the Aussies do so well. It was also great for the competitors to meet people from different countries and to experience South Africa,” says Jo Teagle, LSV pool panel coordinator and deputy referee for the Simulated Emergency Rescue Competition (SERC – wet) event at the championships. “It was a great event in terms of results, but also in terms of the international friendships formed and the highlight for many was a team visit to a safari park.”
The Commonwealth Festival of Lifesaving combines both the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships and Lifesaving Challenge Events. The new-look festival encouraged participation in lifesaving development, as well as bringing the Commonwealth lifesaving extended family together with an individual skill elements and a non-competitive sports development section, alongside the more traditional events.
One of the standout competitors was Victorian Brendon Smith from Half Moon Bay SLSC, whose parents Alyssa and Peter were in the national team for the Commonwealth Championships in 1994.
“Back then, pool competitions had events more closely aligned with the Challenge Events,” says Jo. “Brendon did very well and was the individual overall champion for the Male Development Competition.”
As well as competitors, Victoria supplied three senior officials, including deputy referee for speed events Barb Morgan OAM and deputy referee SERC (dry) Mary Veal.
For the 2018 competition calendar, Adelaide will be the venue to both the Royal Lifesaving Society Australian Pool Lifesaving Championships scheduled for January and in November competitors from all over the world will compete at the Lifesaving World Championships.
The next Festival of Lifesaving will be held in 2019.
Watch this space for more great news from the teams.