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  • Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships 2013 4 – 8 September 2013 Canberra, Australia

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To the website of Commonwealth Lifesaving - The Royal Life Saving Society.

Commonwealth Lifesaving is dedicated to the prevention of drowning and is working to eliminate drowning in the Commonwealth

We have member branches active in 28 Commonwealth nations, who fulfill the Royal charter to reduce drownings around the world. In this effort the Royal Life Saving Society provides advice and education to Governments, NGO's and individuals on how to develop water skills.

Please note this website is currently under construction. Please bear with us while the upgrade is taking place. If you have any urgent enquiries please do not hesitate to email us directly on commonwealth@rlss.org.uk 

Recent News


Vacancy for Chair of the RLSS Sport Development Committee

The Sport Development Committee is responsible for the promotion and development of Lifesaving Sport across the Commonwealth and has responsibility for the management and supervision of the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships.  We are seeking a Chair for this Committee as the current  Chair will be coming to the end of their term in office at the beginning of 2015.

The main areas of responsibility for the Sport Development Committee are:

1.       Sport Development and Accessibility

·       Increase accessibility to and participation in lifesaving sport across the Commonwealth

2.       Athletes - Seek views of athletes to:

·       provide guidance and feedback to the Host Nation from an Athletes point of view

·       provide guidance on Sport Development both at events and in the lead up to events from an Athletes point of view

·       provide guidance from an Athletes point of view on the Strategic Development of Sport within The Royal Life Saving Society

3.       Technical Aspects of Sport including:

·       Review the Commonwealth Lifesaving Sport Competition Manual, incorporating all feedback and developments from each Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships event

·       Monitor and review the use of the Commonwealth Lifesaving Sport Short Course Manual

4.       Event Management associated with the technical aspects of the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships including:

·       Monitor the Host Nation’s activities in association with the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships against the Event Management contract

·       Provide advice, guidance and support to the Host Nation for the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships and associated activities

·       To monitor and enforce the appropriate representation of The Royal Life Saving Society at the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships

The role of the Chair of the Sport Development Committee

·       To Chair Sport Development Committee meetings (via teleconference – 4 meetings per year, approximately 1 hour meetings)

·       Attend Commonwealth Management Committee Meetings (via teleconference, 4 times a year, approximately 1½hours per meeting)

·       Liaise with Commonwealth Headquarters/Committee Secretary prior to the meetings on agenda and paper distribution (maximum 2 hours additional preparation)

·       Provide guidance and leadership to the Sport Development Committee and other RLSS Committees on lifesaving sport when required

·       Keep updated and informed on ILS Sport developments and develop a relationship with the ILS Sport Commissioner

If you would like to be considered for the role of Chair of the Sport Development Committee please provide us with a few paragraphs on:

·       Your background and experience

·       Your interest in the Chair position and the direction you would like to see the Sport Development Committee take over the coming 4 years

If you would like any further information or to see full terms of reference for the Sport Development Committee please contact Emma Harrison at commonwealth@rlss.org.uk

Applications should be sent to commonwealth@rlss.org.uk. 

Closing date for applications is Friday 17th October 2014

Opportunity for young people involved in sport for development and peace to get involved at a Commonwealth level

In 2013 the Commonwealth Secretariat supported the establishment of the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group (CYSDP) with a mission ‘to be the leading and driving voice for youth in the Commonwealth towards promoting best practices for sport, development and peace in their respective societies.’ The CYSDP are looking for young people active and passionate in the field of sport for development and peace to join their working group

A group of young leaders from Commonwealth regions were identified by the Commonwealth Secretariat and selected to work towards advancing youth development in the Commonwealth through sport. With a remit to ‘Advocate, Educate and Demonstrate’ on behalf of young people across the Commonwealth, the group utilise sport and non-sport platforms to highlight the benefits of SDP in development issues. The group are an integral part of the Commonwealth youth space and intend to continue to do their work by accessing the voices of young people, targeting decision makers, educating both youth practitioners and SDP experts on how best to advocate for their issues, and providing research to contribute to bodies of knowledge which bring to the fore youth issues in the SDP sector.

Below are the details for this role, if you or anyone you know would be interested in applying to join this group, please let us know so we can ensure you meet the criteria and assist you with your application

Roles and responsibilities of CYSDP:

  • Provide a youth voice and perspective on advancing the use of sport in development policy and programming in the Commonwealth
  • Meet on a quarterly basis (via web conference) and carry out work on an on-going basis according to the remit of CYSDP
  • Formulate recommendations on SDP relevant to youth development and contribute to  forums such as the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS)
  • Liaise with other Commonwealth and regional youth representative forums to advance awareness of SDP approaches and initiatives;
  • Present and represent at sport and non-sport platforms around the Commonwealth

What they are looking for:

  • Commonwealth nationals
  • Between the ages of 18 and 29 (must be under 30 on 31st August 2015
  • Passionate and active in Sport for Development and Peace in a voluntary, educational or professional capacity
  • Current skills gaps include: communications/ social media, knowledge of governance, strategic development/ leadership skills, public speaking/ presentation experience, knowledge and experience of innovative, small NGO or social enterprise development.
  • Current geographic gaps include Caribbean , Pacific and Asia

Appointments are made for one year terms, with members eligible to apply for re-appointment for up to three terms.

Interested applicants are invited to submit an expression of interest to include a short cover letter outlining your motivation and suitability for joining CYSDP, your CV and a well-developed submission on ‘why SDP is an effective tool in tackling youth development issues’. Drawing on your own experiences and research would be advantageous in developing the submission.

Submissions can be in the form of:

  • Academic essay or position paper (1000 words)

  • Magazine feature article suitable for publication on Your Commonwealth – see www.yourcommonwealth.org (800-1000 words)

  • Short film (5 - 10 minutes)

  • Photography with extended captions/descriptions for each image (5 – 10 images)

The closing date for submissions is 30th September 2014

6th International Drowning Prevention and Rescue Conference

The Lifesaving Foundation will be holding their 6th International Drowning Prevention and Rescue Conference from Monday 29th September to Thursday 2nd October 2014 at Balbriggan, Co Dublin, Ireland.  The Conference will open with a Survival Swimming Seminar titled “Essential Content in the Teaching and Learning of Water Competencies” and this theme will be supported by various swimming survival related presentations on the following days.  On the final day of the Conference the programme is devoted to presentations based on the 2014 second edition of the handbook “Drowning: Prevention, Rescue, Treatment”; the Handbook on Drowning was first published in 2006 and has been a reference source on all aspects of drowning since its publication.

To view the full brochure on this Conference please click here.  If you are interested in attending please note that there is a non-resident daily attendance option of €120.  Alternatively, if you are unable to attend but would like to view the conference DVD you can place an order at a cost of €50.

If you would like any further information on this Conference please email John Connolly at john@lifesavingfoundation.ie 

SwimSafe Program featured on UNICEF film at Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

If you were watching the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow you might have seen the UNICEF film on the swimming project in Bangladesh (to view film click here).  This is the SwimSafe program that is a partnership between the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB), The Alliance for Safe Children (TASC), the Bangladesh Swimming Federation, UNICEF and Royal Life Saving Society – Australia.  Through this program more than 150,000 Bangladeshi children have been trained since 2005.

It’s fantastic to see this program highlighted at an event that will be viewed by many millions around the world and raise the profile of drowning prevention.  For more information you can visit the global drowning fund website.

41 Members of Parliament sign up to RLSS UK’s pledge plea

Representatives from RLSS UK travelled to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London this week ahead of its annual national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week, which runs from 21-29 June 2014.

Throughout the afternoon they ran CPR workshops and water safety advice sessions and MPs from across the UK were invited to find out more about the charity and its work, as well as sign up and “pledge to support the delivery of water safety education to all under 18 year olds in the UK”.

A question was also raised in the House on drowning prevention and water safety during an adjournment debate that evening tabled by Sharon Hodgson, MP.

RLSS UK President, Peter Moyes, said: “We were overwhelmed with the support offered by MPs during our session and can’t thank them enough for pledging to help us in our efforts, not only during Drowning Prevention Week but all year round and especially to get water safety education taught in all schools.

“Tragically, more than 30 people drowned in just seven weeks during last summer’s heatwave. Around 400 people accidentally drown in the UK every year - one every 20 hours - and thousands more have near drowning experiences.

“These deaths could have been avoided and we are thrilled to now have the help of the 41 MPs to add to the work of RLSS UK staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to reduce drownings and save lives.”

Local MP, Nadhim Zahawi who has been working with RLSS UK and supported them in organising the event said “I am very proud to have hosted RLSS UK in Parliament today; it’s fantastic that so many MPs have pledged their support.”

“RLSS UK does brilliant work to educate people in lifesaving skills and water safety across the country and I am sure that my colleagues will be promoting this vital work throughout their constituencies during Drowning Prevention Week and beyond.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, where two girls – 15-year-old Tonibeth Purvis and 14-year-old Chloe Fowler - tragically drowned in the River Wear last summer, worked with the RLSS UK to secure the debate in the House of Commons to press Ministers on this issue.

She added: “After the tragic death of Tonibeth and Chloe last summer I was keen to help the RLSS UK put their case to the Government. With the warm weather upon us and the school holidays approaching, I was pleased to be able to press ministers on how we can prevent more tragic accidents from occurring this year, and into the future.

“I am hoping that this message will have been heard loud and clear in Whitehall, and that Ministers will give serious consideration to the very sensible calls made in the RLSS UK Manifesto.”

Jackie Roberts, the mother of student Megan Roberts, who tragically drowned in the River Ouse in York on April 3rd this year, has been working with RLSS UK on a number of projects over the past few months. She also attended the event and added: “I am working with the RLSS UK as my daughter’s life meant so much and I want to do something in respect to her and to prevent further tragedies.

“It was great to talk to MPs today and hopefully raise the importance of the charity’s work and the importance of water safety education.”

(Left-Right) RLSS UK’s Director of Lifesaving, Adrian Lole, RLSS UK President Peter Moyes, Sharon Hodgson MP, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Jackie Roberts and RLSS UK CEO Di Steer with signed pledges at Westminster



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