On a sun baked Rosnowlagh Beach in Donegal Irelands Lifesavers proved they meet Irish Water Safety's standards of excellence. Beach Sports love sun and sun they got on Rosnowlagh for the Anual National Surf lifesaving Championships during the two day event held on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th Sept 2009.
Clare swept the board winning the much coveted Presidents Trophy with Donegal second and Wicklow third. Almost five hundred competitors from fourteen counties competed, representing Wicklow, Kildare, Clare, Donegal, Wexford, Cork, Waterford, Mayo, Galway, Louth, Kilkenny, Sligo and Dublin. A team of Lifesavers from Belfast also competed. Competitors at the National Championships had their skills tested in events that simulated emergency rescue and swimming scenarios.
The winning team from Clare fended off strong competition from the fittest Lifeguards nationwide in this festival of lifesaving - the most significant and breathtaking life saving competition in Ireland. Ireland's best Lifesavers fought challenging open water conditions off the Donegal coast to rescue potential "casualties" in testing swim races, rescue board races and other events, which culminated in exciting finals throughout both days. Kilkenny won the best Inland team and Sligo won the trophy for the best Novice County. Commenting on the additional challenges of open water competitions, the Chairman of Irish Water Safety's Sports Commission, Jim Lawlor expressed confidence in the training received from Irish Water Safety Coaches nationwide, "Athletes demonstrated a competence second-to-none this weekend and tackled with ease, the challenging open water environment of Donegal's coastline. It is a credit to Irish Water Safety coaches nationwide who spent all year preparing competitors around Ireland's coastline. The public can rest assured that the skills demonstrated this weekend - skills that are on call every year at lifeguarded waterways - will continue to be available for the safety of those swimming in open water next season."
The Sport of Lifesaving has been developed to improve the standard of life guarding in Ireland and assist lifesavers save lives. The skills they have honed were demonstrated by Lifesavers as young as nine years of age (Nippers) with the more experienced Junior, Senior and Masters Lifesavers demonstrating their lifesaving skills that can be such an important lifeline in an emergency. As part of its remit to promote water safety in Ireland, Irish Water Safety trains Lifeguards employed at beaches, lakes, rivers and pools nationwide. Irish Water Safety encourages the public to learn to swim and enroll in one of the many courses nationwide in the valuable skills of water survival and lifesaving.
Further information on this exciting event is available at www.iws.ie.