Lifesaving is an utterly purposeful sport as it aims to encourage rescuers – pool and ocean lifeguards – to maintain, develop and improve the physical and mental skills needed to save lives in the aquatic environment. A variety of different events test the technique, fitness and motivation of the athletes in situations not unlike those they encounter in their daily rescue work. Stillwater events are generally held in a pool. They require technical skills as well as speed. Ocean events comprise races that are often unpredictable as currents and waves play a major role. Experience, tactics and endurance is called for in the athletes.
Lifesaving features in The World Games 2013; check the event calendar for details about when it is scheduled.
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Competitive lifesaving ....
Lifesaving competitions consist of a variety of competitions to demonstrate and develop lifesaving skills, fitness and motivation. The lifesaving competitions are held in pools, in the ocean and on the beach.Here are just some of the competitive events featured regularly in The World Games: Beach Ocean Man; Beach Ocean Woman; Beach Rescue Board (M, W); Beach Surf Race (M, W); Pool Combined Rescue 100 M (M, W); Pool Obstacle Race 200 M (M, W); Saving-A-Manekin 50 M (M, W); Saving-A-Manekin 100 M Fins (M, W); Pool/Beach Relay 10 (Mixed).
The history of the sport ....
Organized international lifesaving activities date back to 1878, when the first World Congress was held in Marseille, France. A need for an international forum to exchange ideas was soon recognized. This led firstly to the establishment of the Fédération Internationale de Sauvetage Aquatique (FIS) in 1910 and then to the formation of World Life Saving (WLS). Both organizations were established to promote lifesaving throughout the world. While FIS was focused on still water, WLS was more focused on ocean lifesaving. Lifesaving as sport was primarily intended to encourage lifeguards to develop, maintain and improve the essential physical and mental skills needed to save lives in the aquatic environment.
In 1993, in Leuven, Belgium, FIS and WLS were merged into a single, worldwide lifesaving organization known as the International Life Saving Federation (ILS).
Since then, ILS has provided the single uniting force of lifesaving around the world. ILS is the world governing body that oversees lifesaving sport as well as lifeguarding, for over 33 million members in 131 organizations.
Simulated Emergency Response ...
The purpose of this competitive event is to assess the initiative and judgment of a group of lifesavers as they apply their lifesaving skills in a simulated emergency situation. A number of victims are positioned in and around the swimming pool. A team of 4 lifesavers then enters the pool area and determine priorities in helping as much as possible the victims during a period of two minutes.
And here's another! The4 x 50m Rescue Tube Relay has four competitors swim 50m, each using a different technique. The first swims 50m in freestyle, the second 50m freestyle with fins, the third pulls arescue tube swimming in freestyle, and the fourth takes over the rescue tube and swims freestyle with fins towing the third competitor, who is holding on to the rescue tube.