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Pool Lifesaving Sport

Pool Lifesaving Sport

Pool Lifesaving Sport

Pool lifesaving is one of the three core disciplines that make up the internationally recognised sport of Lifesaving, the other disciplines being Surf Lifesaving and Ocean & Open water competitions. Pool lifesaving not only tests an athlete's swimming ability, but their skills in rescue response, accident prevention and emergency care in a still-water environment. The sport runs year-round, so it is suitable for both amateur and seasoned swimmers, lifeguard fitness and development and for those looking for a fun and interesting way to stay safe and active in the water.

Speed Events

Speed events are a test of speed, strength and technique, involving a variety of swimming and lifesaving skills including competition and survival strokes, contact and non-contact rescues, and use of rescue equipment. Many speed events utilise a manikin (also known as a rescue dummy, or bob) to simulate a real patient. The aim a speed event is to be the first to the finish wall, but with the right technique to avoid disqualification. Speed events also include relays where various swimming and rescue skills are required using the right equipment and in the correct sequences.

Initiative Tests

Emergency response events, also known as initiative tests, involve an aquatic emergency scenario that competitors must respond to within a set time limit. Initiative tests include the Simulate Emergency Response Competition (SERC) and CPR competition (also known as dry SERC). Initiative events can be run in an individual or team format, with competitors scored on their overall response to the emergency scenario.

Pathways to Get Involved

Pool Lifesaving is a great way to take your swimming to the next level and can easily be adapted for all ages, abilities and facilities. From club carnivals to the Lifesaving World Championships, lifesaving sport offers many pathways for personal and professional development both in the water and on pool deck.

Become a member of the NSW Royal Life Saving Society and gain access to lifesaving sport resources and programs. You can join one of our affiliated Lifesaving Clubs across the State to give the sport a try, to facilitate and achieve lifesaving awards as well as be provided with the opportunity to become a coach or official. Whether it is just for fun, for skill development or to take part in competition events, why not get wet, have fun and learn lifesaving skills for life.

Training and Development Opportunities

The sport of pool lifesaving presents a range of different pathways for both personal and professional development, both in the water and on the pool deck. Explore the ways you can apply your knowledge and skills as a lifesaving athlete, to gain employment in the aquatic industry, across roles such as a pool lifeguards, swim instructors, swim coaches, venue managers… the list goes on. 

Royal Life Saving offers a selection of free and paid online professional development courses for you to take part in, learning valuable skills for a possible future in the aquatic industry. Further learning resources from the Australian Sports Commission, ASADS and Sport Integrity Australia are available for you to boost your knowledge in areas such as coaching, sport safety and antidoping fundamentals. To find out more, visit:


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