2020 Pool Lifeguard Challenge

20 February 2020

The 2020 Pool Lifeguard Challenge was held this week at the Beatty Park Aquatic Centre, with 13 teams from various aquatic centres across the metro area competing at the event. It was great to see many centres returning this year, while the newly renovated Armadale Aquatic Centre entered for the first time.

2020 Pool Lifeguard Challenge Manikin tow group

Teams competing this year included Kwinana Recquatic, HBF Arena (2 teams), Mandurah Aquatic & Recreation Centre, Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre (2 teams), Fremantle Leisure Centre, Leisurefit Booragoon (2 teams), Beatty Park Leisure Centre, Bayswater Waves and City of Canning Leisure Centres (2 teams). 

Beatty Park was a new venue for the event, which has been held annually at HBF Stadium for more than a decade. The event, sponsored by the Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics, and facilitated by Royal Life Saving WA, aims to test the skills of lifeguards and encourages the continued improvement of lifeguard teams at aquatic centres across WA.

2020 Pool Lifeguard Challenge SERC spinal injury
The day began with a team relay and obstacle course, with the second event being a Super Lifeguard Challenge, in which teams showed their swimming, manikin tow and CPR skills. The part of the day all teams look forward to is the final challenge, which this year involved teams responding to one of three acted-out emergency scenarios: a spinal, CPR or first-aid. The teams go into lockdown prior to the event, unaware of the scenarios unfolding out on the pool deck, ensuring no one can know what to expect from this exciting part of the challenge!

This year, volunteers and staff from Royal Life Saving put on their best acting display, role-playing a busy pool environment that included an emergency scenario. Lifeguard teams had to work together to scan the busy scene, which was filled with plenty of distractions. The incidents managed by the lifeguards included a fighting parent not supervising their young child, rambunctious swimmers not listening to direction, a person injured when diving into a shallow pool, and finally an older swimmer with a dislocated elbow.

The teams showed fantastic skill in their response to the incidents thrown their way and appreciated the feedback from the judges on areas that could be improved in future.

At the end of the day the top three teams were: Fremantle Leisure Centre in third place, HBF Arena Team 1 in second place, while Hamish Williams, Taylor Williams, Josh Lynn and Julian Janssen from Beatty Park Leisure Centre took out first place! 

Royal Life Saving Society WA would like to congratulate all the competing teams for their performances this year and we look forward to seeing each of them return in 2021. We’d also like to thank the Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics for their continued support of the Pool Lifeguard Challenge, an invaluable event which ensures the continued development of lifeguarding in WA. We hope all competitors return to their centres with a new sense of the importance of the role they play in keeping aquatic centre patrons safe as they enjoy water activities.

If you think you've got what it takes to be a lifeguard why not complete a Pool Lifeguard course with Royal Life Saving WA! Find out more at the link below, and you might be one of the competitors at next year's challenge!

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