April 2012 Newsletter
I hope that you all had a good Easter? As the weather starts to warm up our thoughts turn to open-water training. Bath University LSC were first off the blocks when they travelled down for an open-water training session at Christchurch (see inset); but there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved over the coming months. The summer also sees a number of pool-based competitions in our area. I'd urge you to support all these events - they're a great way to try something new and meet other lifesavers. You can keep up to date with all the local RLSS activities on our website at www.rlsswest.org.uk.

Emergency Response Activity Supervisor Course:
12 May - 7 July

During the seven 2-hour sessions, this course will give you the practical lifesaving skills that you need to supervise, teach or coach programmed activity at open water sites (note: this is not a lifeguard qualification).

The course costs £60 per adult (£30 for under 18’s and concessions). There are no prerequisites, but candidates must be at least 16 years old and able to comfortably swim 200m in open water.

The course is being held at Henleaze Swimming lake in North Bristol. See http://rlsswest.org.uk/event/eras-course/ to book you place.

Volunteer Together Exchange:
5-12 Aug 2012

Six young lifesavers (aged 14-18) will be selected to represent the UK in an international youth lifesaving exchange to the Czech Republic. Participants will go rafting, train at one of the Czech Red Cross' training centres, learn about climbing and take part in the 3-day National Youth Jamboree. There will also be time for sightseeing in Prague and Brno.

Contrary to the information on the website, there are still a few days left to apply, but this is your last chance! For more information, contact Alan Sutherland on 07816 254 776, e-mail alan@rlsswest.org.uk or visit the website: www.rlsswest.org.uk/west-region/vt-2012/

Regional Training Events
There will be no RLSS National Conference this year. Instead, there will be three Regional Conferences: Warwick (28/29 April), Cheshire (26/27 May) and the South East (13/14 October). The events cost £35 per day, with some workshops having additional fees for awards/materials. The programmes and booking information for the can be found at www.rlssbooking.org.uk. Avon & North Wiltshire Branch will consider funding the day delegate rate for any branch member who wishes to attend one of the Regional  Conferences. Please e-mail avon@rlsswest.org.uk if you want to attend.

Water Safety Awareness Week
16-24 Jun 2012

National Water Safety Week is a great opportunity to make a splash about the importance of lifesaving skills and give people a chance to meet Royal Lifesaving Society volunteers to find out more. From the 16th - 24th June 2012, the RLSS will be promoting having fun and being safe in, on and near water.

We'd like to invite every lifesaver within the branch to get involved - maybe your club can host an event? Or just make a special effort to invite new members along for a taster session? Whatever you're planning we want to hear about it! Contact us at avon@rlsswest.org.uk and we'll help to publicise your event.

RLSS National Championships
The closing date for entries into the RLSS National Championships is the 10th June 2012. Since RLSS Avon & North Wiltshire does not have a competition secretary, there will be no branch heat this year. Instead, up to four A&NW competitiors in each category will progress straight through to the regional heats. The regional heat will take place on the 15th Sept in Bristol, and the National Championships will take place on 15 Dec in Sheffield.

Entries are invited in the following ages (ages as at 31 December 2012):
Junior Girls/Junior Boys – pairs aged 12-14 years
Senior Girls/Senior Boys – pairs aged 15-17 years
Ladies/Mens – individuals aged 16 years and over
Masters Ladies/Masters Mens – individuals aged 30 years and over

If you would like to represent the branch at the regional competition (and perhaps go through to the National Championships) please complete an entry form from http://rlsswest.org.uk/sport/nlsc/ and send it David Fielding, Vice-Chairman RLSS A&NW, 6 Beckington Road, Bristol, BS3 5EB.
Lifesaving Sport Questionnaire
The RLSS is about to embark on a full review of Lifesaving Sport within the UK. This is a really exciting time, and you can help! Please complete the questionnaire via the link below to tell us what is great, what we need to protect and what we need to change! http://www.rlssonline.com/index.php/lifesaving-sport/get-involved-sport/Lifesaving-Sport-Questionnaire

Emergency Response Activity Supervisor Course
Henleaze Swimming Club, in conjunction with RLSS West Region, is pleased to offer the Emergency Response Activity Supervisor qualification. This 12-hour course will give you the practical lifesaving skills that you need to supervise, teach or coach programmed activity at open water sites. For full details please see http://rlsswest.org.uk/event/emergency-response-activity-supervisor-course/

CRB Checks
In February the RLSS updated their guidance on those requiring mandatory CRB checks. All those who are Club Welfare Officers, Lifesaving TA's/Instructors/Teachers, Rookie Instructors, Assistant Instructors and Volunteer Lifeguards require a CRB check to be completed.

If you think you should be CRB checked, or want to check if you are cleared by the RLSS, please contact avon@rlsswest.org.uk.

Keep In Touch
We love hearing your news, so please keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter, or E-mail. Please let me know if you have any news for the next edition of the newsletter.
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