December 2011 Newsletter
It's been another busy month in the RLSS Avon & North Wiltshire branch: Bristol University held its first competition for many years, the West Region ran a competition training session in Bath and I'm pleased to announce that we have four newly qualified probationary lifesaving instructors too!

We've got loads of exciting plans for 2012, but we need your help. The branch relies on a small band of faithful volunteers to organise events - they do a superb job, but with your help we could achieve so much more....

What will YOU do to make the branch safer in 2012?

...you could host a training session, run a course, hold a competition or arrange a trip. The branch will offer you all the support and advice you need, and may even be able to provide financial assistance. Contact david@rlsswest.org.uk with your ideas.

Have Your Say...
I would like to take this opportunity to invite YOU to the first RLSS West Region engagement group. Lifesavers from across the region will be coming together to have their say, and help shape the future of lifesaving in the region. The group is open to everyone, but we'd be especially pleased to welcome young lifesavers - please get in touch if you need a lift. The event is planned to take place in Portishead on the evening of Tue 18 Jan. Drop me an e-mail to find out more: david@rlsswest.org.uk

New National Youth Engagement Officer
Lee Heard has recently been appointed as the RLSS National Youth Engagement Officer. Lee's role is to improve communication with young lifesavers - encouraging them to get actively involved in the work of the society. Lee will be working to develop local Lifesaving activity and networks. Lee has also been attached to the RLSS West region to act as a first point of contact with the RLSS Volunteer Engagement Team. If you're a young lifesaver aged between 5 and 25 (or if you're an older lifesaver who is passionate about helping young people fulfill their potential) Lee would love to hear from you - leeheard@rlss.org.uk.

Bristol University Lifesaving Competition
100 students from across the UK descended on Bristol to put their lifesaving skills to the test. 25 teams from as far afield as St Andrews and Plymouth gathered at the Students’ Union swimming pool to compete for the coveted gold medal.

The Lord Mayor of Bristol watched as students took part in two simulated incidents, a rope-throw, a swim and tow, and the lifesaving medley relay. Bristol’s A team achieved sixth place overall (their highest ever placing) thanks to a strong performance in the dry SERC. Bath's A team were let down by their incidents to finish in 15th place. Special mention goes to the team from Keynsham Lifesaving Club who came 5th out of 25 teams in the rope throw, 17th in the Medley and 19th in the swim and tow, against much older and more experienced competition. See www.bris.ac.uk for a full report of the competition.

Lifesaving Sport Training Session
RLSS West Region hosted a lifesaving sport training day at Bath University on 3rd Dec. Blondie put five lifesavers through their paces: running through seven different speed lifesaving events and providing individual personalised feedback to the athletes. Video footage of the swimmers in action (and some handy coaching tips) are available on the RLSS West Region website.


RLSS Speed Nationals
The RLSS UK National Speed Championships will be taking place on the 3rd & 4th Mar 2012 in Sheffield, but the closing date for entries is 16 Dec 2011! For more information, or to enter a team, please see www.rlssonline.com

Lifesaving Sport Training 2
RLSS West Region is running another lifesaving sport training session. This is the perfect introduction to lifesaving sport events and incidents - ideal for those who are new to lifesaving sport or for Survive and Save instructors looking to brush up their technique. The training will take place in Bristol and the date has been provisionally set as 21 Jan 2012. Further details will be published on http://rlsswest.org.uk/ as soon as they are available...

National Water Safety Awareness Week
RLSS National Water Safety Awareness Week will take place from 16-24 June 2012. All lifesaving groups are encouraged to put on some sort of event to mark the occasion - perhaps you could hold a taster session for new members, put on a course for your local community or run a competition to design a water-safety poster? If you need any help putting your idea into practice please get in touch!

West Region
Remember, you can always keep up to date with the latest news by checking out the West Region website or joining our Facebook group
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