In 1948 it was decided that Ireland would follow a European initiative and create the sport of lifesaving based on the skills and equipment used in lifeguarding. Currently 168 countries are affiliated to International life saving which controls the sport worldwide.

In 1950 the President, Sean T. O’Ceallaig decided to present a very large silver trophy to Irish Water Safety for competition among the counties of Ireland and this award is still the premier award associated with our National Championships.

National championships are now divided into two sections, pool and surf and this year will include nippers, juniors, seniors and masters.

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IWS Kildare Lifesaving Training Centre provide training in the  following  disciplines by the Volunteers of Irish Water Safety: Swimming, Lifesaving, Basic Life Support, Pool Lifeguard, Beach Lifeguard, Inland open water or the Sport of lifesaving.

LIfesaving as a Sport

“Sport is an added component of Life Saving, helping lifeguards to challenge themselves to improve and perform. Lifesaving sport was primarily intended to encourage Lifesavers to develop, maintain and improve essential physical and mental skills needed to save lives in the aquatic environment. Lifesaving competitions consist of a variety of competitions to further develop and demonstrate lifesaving skills, fitness and motivation.”(ILS website)

The sport of Surf Life Saving is a unique and multi-disciplined sport which originated from Australia.

Irish Water Safety has organised the sport in Ireland since 1946. It has been developed to improve the standard of lifeguarding in Ireland and assist lifesavers save lives. It then injects a lifesaving skill back into a community and the training is all volunteer based making it a special activity that people want to be involved in and get so much enjoyment from.

In 1950, His Excellency President Sean T. O’Ceallaigh presented the President’s Award to IWS for competition between the counties of Ireland and it is competed for every year. Since then this award is still the premier award associated with the National Championships.

Lifesaving has never been stronger in Ireland, especially at the grass roots level. We have thousands of children, teenagers and adults with a particularly growing sector of 8-14 year old Nippers who come through participating in Irish Water Safety Lifesaving classes and competitions. The drop off rate during adolescence is a lot less than in other sports.

Ireland already has an excellent reputation as a competitor on the International stage in lifesaving events with several International awards in both still-water and surf events.

The National Championships are part of Irish Water Safety’s extensive programme to promote water safety in Ireland with a particular focus on the necessary skills required by pool Lifeguards nationwide. The events promote the fitness and readiness for action of the lifesavers and demonstrate Lifeguard water rescues to the public.

National championships are now divided into two sections, pool and surf

OPEN SURF EVENTS:

  • SURF (swim) RACE
  • CAN BUOY RESCUE RACE
  • BOARD RESCUE RACE
  • TAPLIN RELAY RACE
  • BOARD RACE
  • SURF SKI RACE
  • BEACH FLAGS RACE
  • 90 MTR SPRINT RACE

POOL EVENTS:

  • STAGED INCIDENT (SERC)
  • 200m OBSTACLE SWIM
  • 50m MANIKIN CARRY
  • 100m MANIKIN CARRY WITH FINS
  • 100m MANIKIN TOW WITH FINS
  • SUPERLIFESAVER
  • 4X50 MTR MANIKIN RELAY
  • 4X50 MTR MEDLEY RELAY
  • 4X 50MTR OBSTACLE RELAY
  • ROPE THROW

IWS Kildare Surf Lifesaving  programme

Our programme is run  at Pollaphuca Reservoir,  Baltyboys, Blessington beside Blessington Sailing Club

Irish Water Safety - KILDARE (outdoor)

Directions
Head south from Blessington village on the N81, straight through the roundabout. Take left turn for Valleymount onto R758 . Cross bridge,.  Approx 2 miles from main road – Cul de Sac on left leads to Club. If you reach a right turn to Tulfarris, you have gone 100m too far.

GPS Co-ords

N    53° 07’ 44.6”
W 006° 31’ 21.3”

Minimum requirement to join

  • You  must  be  7 years  old
  • Confident in the water
  • Be able to swim a minimum  of  150 m
  • Good  Health

Requirements

  • Swimgear
  • Wetsuit
  • Swim Cap  IWS  yellow  or IWS Kildare  Club Cap only
  • Swim fins
  • Buoyancy (club jackets available, if you  don’t have  your own)

Note: Parents/Guardians are requested to assist with refreshments at the end of each session and assisting with the returning of all equipment to its original storage area.