Lifeguards battle for title of top saviours in Leeds

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Lifeguards from leisure centres across the city put their skills to the test to see who would be crowned Leeds’s top poolside patrollers.

The annual Leeds Lifeguard Challenge saw the team from Kirkstall Leisure Centre emerge as the overall winners after a day of competition which included first aid simulations and relay races.

Now in its 19th year, the friendly contest is designed to help recognise the city’s lifeguards while they practice their key skills and work as a team.

Held at the John Charles Centre for Sport, the event saw ten teams from Aireborough, Armley, Holt Park, John Charles, John Smeaton, Kippax, Kirkstall, Pudsey, Rothwell and Scott Hall centres battle it out.

Other winners on the day included Holt Park Active, who were victorious in a rope throw relay, and Scott Hall Leisure Centre, who were the best in the simulated pool incident.

Mark Sugden, centre manager at Kirkstall Leisure Centre, said: “The team really enjoyed the day and we’re all very proud that they were named overall winners.

“It’s great that they’ve got the recognition they deserve and also had to chance to work alongside teams from other centres and practice their skills.”

Leeds City Council lifeguards undergo National Pool Lifeguard Qualification training which includes water rescue, spinal injury management, life support and first aid.

The John Charles Centre was also named the Royal Life Saving Society’s approved training centre of the year for 2013.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said: “The Lifeguard Challenge is always a really fun and exciting day that gives our lifeguards a great chance to get together for a bit of friendly competition.

“But it also highlights the important role they play in keeping thousands of swimmers across the city safe each and every day as they enjoy our pools and leisure centres.

“Lifeguards have to be constantly alert and ready to act at any time and they’re a real credit to the city. Congratulations to the team at Kirkstall leisure centre too on their well-deserved win.”

Across the city there are 17 leisure centres with 11 gyms, 14 swimming pools and over 400 fitness classes.

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