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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

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 clickhere.  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.

Queen's Young Leaders Programme Launched

On Wednesday 9 July at a reception at Buckingham Palace, their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales, launched the search for the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme which will run for the next five years.

Exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth will be recognised for their achievements in transforming their own lives and the lives of others, receiving support, training and an award from Her Majesty The Queen.

For further information please visit https://www.thercs.org/youth/queens-young-leaders-programme-2014/ or  http://www.queensyoungleaders.com/

Nominations and applications are sought from each of the 53 Commonwealth countries – if you know of anyone who you might like to nominate please let us know.

10 days to go until the Commonwealth Games start in Glasgow!

With just 10 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games the Queen's Baton Relay is well on its way to Glasgow.  Back on 9th October 2013, the Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton Relay set off on its journey around all 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.  The international sector of the journey lasted 248 days and covered more than 190,000 kilometres.

On 14th June the Queen's Baton Relay arrived in Scotland and up until the 23rd July will travel the length and breadth of Scotland being carried by 4,000 baton bearers who were chosen by a panel from the Commonwealth Games organisers for their contribution to work in sport and local communities.

Bryan Finlay of RLSS UK Scottish Region was nominated to be a bearer for his commitment and dedication to lifesaving activities not just locally within Scotland but for all his work for RLSS UK.  Bryan has served on the RLSS UK's Management Board for several years.  Bryan was the Queen's Baton Bearer on the leg through Loanhead, south of Edinburgh on 16th June 2014.

The Baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II.  The Relay began at Buckingham Palace in London and arrives in Glasgow at the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the final relay runner hands the baton back to the Queen or her representative, who reads the message aloud to officially open the Games.

Kenya Lifesaving Federation holds National Lifesaving Championships

Lifesaving sport is a relatively new sport in Kenya and in June our Member Branch, the Kenya Lifesaving Federation (KLF) held their National Lifesaving Championships at St Austins Academy.  Nine clubs were represented with over 100 competitors taking part.  A total of 79 races took place during the day which included manikin carry and tow, obstacle swim, line throw and manikin and medley relay events.  Although the majority of participants were young the levels of skill shown by many were above average and shows how lifesaving sport is developing within the country as more coaches and competitors become aware of the sport.

Teams taking part in the Championships were: Kabarak University, Loreto Convent Valley Road, St Austins Academy , Kenya Lifesaving Federation - Nairobi branch, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Falcon Lifesaving Club, Nakuru County Lifesaving Unit, Loreto Convent Msongari and Hydra Sport Swimming Club

One of the barriers to participating in lifesaving sport is the cost of the equipment but KLF are a superb example that when developing lifesaving sport you can use improvised equipment; modified “swim noodles” are used as rescue tubes and 20 litre, 5 litre and 1 litre jerry cans as manikins

At the end of the Championships the top three teams were:

1st           Loreto Convent Valley Road    2nd          Nakuru County Lifesaving Unit    3rd           St Austins Academy

At the end of the Championships KLF thanked all participants, coaches and officials for the support and passion they share in promoting lifesaving skills and lifesaving sport in the country.

Our congratulations go to all at KLF on hosting such a successful event.

Rashtriya Life Saving Society holds first ever seminar on lifesaving in India

Our congratulations go to the Rashtriya Life Saving Society (RLSS India) who in partnership with the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture held the first ever seminar on lifesaving in India titled “Saving Lives and Building Communities” at the beginning of June 2014. 

The objectives of the seminar were to create a structured process to support lifesaving activity and educate safety consciousness amongst the population, discuss global methods to reducing deaths by drowning with a view to adopting some of these methods, to seek views of corporate organisations on possible Corporate Society Responsibility (CSR) roles in saving lives and the impact it has and will have, and to look at policy and standards to be set by the Government to add value to life in India.

Rear Admiral PD Sharma opened the seminar recounting on how RLSS(I) was formed, how it has progressed over the years and its ambitious plans for the future with an objective to add value to life and the stigma of ‘life is cheap in India’ long forgotten.

John Long, Commonwealth Vice President and former Commonwealth Secretary of RLSS Commonwealth attended the seminar and in closing stated “India has moved form a time where safety was seen as a second priority and more and more stakeholders are seeing it as a mandatory tool to achieve effectiveness at home, in transit and at work.”

If you would like to view a full report on the Seminar please email commonwealth@rlss.org.uk

From left to right: Shri SK Jain, Cmde Rajan Vir, R Adm PD Sharma, Prof Dr SB Mujumdar, Mrs Dianne Montalto and Mr John Long

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

Honorary Commonwealth Treasurer appointed

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Clive Patrickson as Honorary Commonwealth Treasurer to the Royal Life Saving Society with immediate effect.  Clive is Global CEO of Laerdal Medical and has been working in various role for Laerdal for 25 years.  Prior to this Clive was involved with RLSS in the capacity of Executive Director for the Victoria Branch of RLSSA, National Technical Director for RLSSA and Assistant Director of RLSS UK.  Clive’s particular interest is in Business Development and he is keen to help ensure the future financial stability of the Society.  Clive’s appointment has been endorsed by the Business Development and Commonwealth Management Committees.  We believe Clive will make a valuable contribution to our work and look forward to working with him.



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