Leeds ,

Council’s lifeguarding team claim two top honours

Members of Leeds City Council’s Sport and Lifestyles Team are celebrating this month after scooping two top lifeguarding and lifesaving awards.

Following on from their success in 2012, the council’s Sport and Active Lifestyles IQL/RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society) Approved Training Centre has again being recognised for its tremendous dedication to providing high quality water safety awareness and staff development training by earning the 2014 IQL UK Multi Site Approved Training Centre of the Year.

It was also a night to remember for council Lifeguard and Trainer Assessor Matthew Quimby, who was named as the 2014 Pride of RLSS UK Award Community Athlete of the Year. Based at John Smeaton, Matthew oversees both the Rookie Lifeguard and Survive and Save programmes at the leisure centre. Matthew also works voluntarily for RLSS North & West Yorkshire Branch as sport development officer, taking numerous teams around the country to compete in competitions and organising extra training camps. Matthew also arranges various fund raising events, including race nights and bag packing to help members of the lifesaving team compete in a range of events. A specialist in the life saving skill of line-throwing, Matthew, who actually broke the world record time in the discipline during 2013, has also attended clubs and conferences where he passes on his expertise.

Leisure centres across Leeds will again be playing a full part in Drowning Prevention Week from 20 June -28 June 2015 with a wide range of events and activities. This includes holding a Rookie Lifeguard Challenge Festival at Kippax Leisure Centre on Saturday 20 June, in partnership with the RLSS North and West Yorkshire Branch, which will be attended by over 150 children. All usual school swimming lessons during the week will be postponed, with children being given the opportunity to instead participate in the ‘Wise up to Water’ Primary School Roadshow. It is estimated that approximately 8,000 children will participate in the activities during the week.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health, wellbeing and adults said:

“We are fortunate to have a fantastic lifesaving team at the council who are extremely dedicated to the highest standards in both pool safety and awareness. It is brilliant to see their hard work recognised once again in the annual IQL UK awards.

“To win this Approved Training Centre award for the second time in three years is some achievement and big congratulations also go to Matthew on picking up the community award. Matthew’s story is a great example of the dedication and commitment shown by many public servants in their line of duty and in voluntary service over and beyond their daily work.”

Notes to editors:

For more information regarding the RLSS, please see: http://www.rlss.org.uk/

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk