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Health, Fitness & Aquatics

Lifesaving Sport

Lifesaving sport is an exciting, highly competitive international sport - and we have a team at our YMCA.  

“This sport helps to develop young athletes into our future lifesavers and lifeguards.  It has a humanitarian purpose first which is one of a kind.”  
    - Lisa Adams, Manager; Health, Fitness & Aquatics Centre

Developed as a way to educate people on water safety and prevent drowning around the world, Lifesaving Sport competitors learn and practice skills used in water rescue.  They might have to dive to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a heavy object, swim under and around obstacles, accurately hit targets by throwing out a line from the pool deck, race each other to test their speed or complete other challenges. 

Competitions take place both in pools and in waterfront settings.  Overall physical fitness, speed, strength, skill and teamwork are key components of this sport, recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation. 

Check out this clip from the Rick Mercer Report where he tries out Lifesaving Sport with Saugeen Shores' award-winning team in winter 2015.  

You can visit the Lifesaving Society's website for more details about this competitive sport.  They have a video posted here showing the international and competition side of Lifesaving Sport. 

Lifesaving Sport FUNdamentals at your YMCA

Our Lifesaving Sport program offers a recreational introduction to lifesaving.  It's a unique way to involve youth in aquatics and the development of a healthy, active lifestyle through sport.  They will build on their swimming skills and develop individual competition skills such as line throw, manikin tow, relays, and more.  Participants have opportunities to compete as part of the team, both in friendly competitions with our neighbouring teams in Hanover & Saugeen, and on a much bigger scale at the provincial level. 

At our YMCA we have two sections for this program, allowing us to welcome beginners along with more seasoned swimmers.  It is recommended participants be able to comfortably swim at least one length of the pool to join as a beginner.  Everything else we can teach you! 

Participants will need to purchase a team swim cap ($5) from our YMCA and bring their favourite pair of goggles to each lesson. 

A Message from our Coach, Jordan Johnston

"This sport has brought two of my passions together in one.  As a young swimmer, I swam competitively; as I grew older I continued my aquatics training, earning my Bronze Medallion and Cross before ultimately becoming a lifeguard and instructor. When our YMCA first started offering Lifesaving Sport over two years ago I became involved and I loved it immediately.  When I was offered the position of Head Coach I jumped at the opportunity and I have never looked back.

As my experience with the sport has grown, it has opened some interesting doors for me: I have now officiated at two Ontario Lifeguard Championships, and one Senior/Masters Lifesaving Championship. I have led our team through our very first Ontario Junior Lifeguard Games, held at our YMCA in June of 2015, where we won two Bronze medals in Line Throw.

I know for myself, and all of the youth I teach, many more positive experiences are waiting.  I am looking forward to helping the members of our team find their passion for swimming and lifesaving."