September 17, 2016, by Alexander Collard
Introduction to Lifesaving Club
Some people stand in the darkness, afraid to step into the light. So goes the first line of the theme tune to the hit 1990’s drama Baywatch. And when curled up in front of the television on a lazy Saturday evening, who didn’t imagine themselves in the sandals of David Hasselhoff or Pamela Anderson, heroically rescuing imperilled civilians, and looking damn sexy as they did so clad only in swimwear?
Lifesaving is the real-life version of Baywatch. In real life, Lifeguards are underpaid lackeys who alternate between watching a tranquil pool and cleaning out the changing rooms, very rarely actually putting their First-Aid and rescue skills into practise. Lifesaving is the opposite. You learn the necessary skills and then are presented with scenarios known as ‘SERCs’ (Simulated Emergency Response Competitions), where in teams of four you have to prioritise, treat, and then provide aftercare to a number of different casualties, all against the clock, in and out of the water.
It’s not all First-Aid and SERCs, however. An integral part of being a Lifeguard is swimming, and Lifesaving is no different. Of course, since emergencies can happen in any environment, a Lifesaver is not restricted to just straight freestyle sprints. Obstacle relays, rope throws, and a LOT of towing, with both your own hands and specialist rescue equipment, means that swimmers of every ability can pick an event that best suits their own preference.
For those who are competitive, you can put all these First Aid skills into practise and then swim to victory in one of the many competitions that take place at other universities all over the country (and abroad in the Czech Republic!) every academic year. If you’re not as keen, with three training sessions a week, each with guaranteed pool time, it’s a great way to keep fit and learn some new skills. It may be a cliché, but there really is something for everybody.
So break out your red Speedos, grab your torpedo buoy, and become part of the growing international phenomenon that is Lifesaving. Join the Nottingham team in the numerous competitions and social events throughout the year, all whilst learning a truly vast array of new skills that can potentially prove crucial in real life. Step out of the darkness, and into the light. It’s pretty sweet out here.