Royals team win their division at the Lake Argyle Swim

7 May 2018

Lake Argyle Swim division trophyA team of Royal Life Saving WA staff and lifeguards successfully competed in the Lake Argyle Swim at the weekend, winning their division in the iconic event!

The team, made up largely of Pool Lifeguards from Port Hedland, who’d recently taken part in Royal Life Saving WA’s inaugural Talent Pool training program, won the 10km quads division in a time of two hours 55 minutes and 31 seconds.

Participants gathering at Lake Argyle ahead of the Lake Argyle Swim

The Talent Pool program is a youth engagement and employment initiative designed to assist aboriginal young people in regional WA to achieve aquatic based qualifications, with the aim of enabling them to gain employment.

The lifeguards taking part in the weekend’s Lake Argyle swim had little or no swimming experience before completing their Bronze Medallion, Pool Lifeguard and First Aid qualifications in January this year. Since then they’ve been training hard for the Lake Argyle event, swimming laps at the Town of Port Hedland’s two aquatic facilities - Gratwick Aquatic Centre and the South Hedland Aquatic Centre.

Competitors swimming in Lake Argyle during the raceThe team was ably supported by the impressive open water swim experience of Royal Life Saving Society Board Member Vaughan Davies and General Manager Community Relations Greg Tate, who have between them completed numerous Rottnest Island Channel Swim events, The Lake Argyle Swim and a number of Ironman events.

The lifeguards in Royal Life Saving's team included Talent Pool Coordinator Pida Bule-Turner, Evenis Doolah and Maliriko Bule-Turner. The team also included Fitzroy Crossing Pool Managers Trevor and Adele Caporn and Tim Turner from the Department of Communities’ Regional Services Reform Unit who provided logistical and event day support.

The event was a real highlight for the young lifeguards taking part with Pida saying "the preparations were very nerve wracking as we’ve never done anything like this before, but diving in and completing the swim was one of the best feelings in the world. We never even dreamed of doing something like this before. Completing the event was even more special because we were the first of our peers to do so, hopefully we have inspired others to do the same.’

After competing the swim Evenis was asked how he felt. "I feel really alive and that this is actually what I want to do with my life. This whole trip from Hedland to Kununurra for the Swim has made me feel like I am really living my life. I can’t wait to do this again."Two RLSSWA competitors in the boat during the Lake Argyle Swim

Royal Life Saving Society WA is proud of the amazing effort put in by the team, and the dedication shown by the lifeguards involved to take on such a gruelling event. Mr Tate says “Preparing for the swim took many months of hard work and training. The commitment and effort from Pida, Evenis and Mali on the day was incredible, considering none had ever competed in an open water swim previously. RLSSWA expect these role models will encourage greater indigenous participation in future swims.”

We look forward to seeing this year’s team members and future Talent Pool participants take part in the Lake Argyle Swim in coming years!

More information on Royal Life Saving WA's Talent Pool program can be found at the link below:

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