Pool lifeguards from various aquatic centres around the state descended on HBF Stadium last month for the 2019 Royal Life Saving WA Pool Lifeguard Challenge proudly sponsored by LIWA Aquatics.

The highly-anticipated event, held annually in late February, sees teams of lifeguards pitted against each other for a day of friendly rivalry. Each team of four competes in a series of challenging events designed to test their fitness and skill levels. This year saw 17 teams participate in the challenge, including teams who travelled from as far as Geraldton to take part.


LIWA Aquatics president Jeff Fondacaro officiated on the day, praising the skill and commitment of 70 lifeguards who participated in what was a great day of competition.

Jeff Fondacaro stated, “You become what you practice” Brain scientist Dr Michael Merzenich PhD, founder of Posit Science and Brain HQ promotes an amazing discovery that the human brain has what is termed “plasticity” the ability of the brain to build new neural pathways by way of continuous repetition.”

“Whether you are an elite athlete or an emergency response professional, there is no substitute for regular practice and performing simulated drills to build muscle memory and automatic responses to enhance your ability during a real-life crisis.”

“The lifeguard challenge tests the skills of lifeguards under a high degree of pressure similar to what you may expect in a real situation. Congratulations to every participant in this year’s event, you have my deepest respect for your commitment to saving lives and taking up the challenge to become a better emergency response professional.”

Swim & Tow Event

The day got off to a cracking start with the first event, a team obstacle relay, setting the pace and testing the fitness of the competitors. The race consisted of a 4x50m freestyle lap followed by a 4x50m freestyle under obstacles.

Event two tested the team’s abilities to perform in water rescues and tows. The team had to perform 50m manikin tows, with and without rescue tubes,

Event three had the lifeguard teams perform CPR for 8 mins on manikins linked to a skills tester. Competitors were judged on the quality of compressions performed, rescue breathing, using oxygen and their technique throughout giving them an overall percentage.

MandurahThe final event for the day had teams placed in lockdown prior to their turn, with competitors unaware of the task required of them. Teams were given an emergency response scenario, testing their skills, teamwork and performance in responding to the scenario.

The day was a huge success with many teams performing exceptionally well and great fun had by all. The event was made possible with support from Royal Life Saving WA and LIWA Aquatics. The event organisers would like to thank all the volunteers who helped on the day and in the lead up to the event.

Congratulations to all this year’s competitors, who gathered at the conclusion of the event for the final announcement of the top three teams. Coming in third was HBF Stadium, who did extremely well in the swimming events. Second place went to Geraldton, whose speed in the water and great score in the Emergency Scenario skills were top notch.

PLGC19 winners HBF ArenaHowever, as always, there could only be one winner. HBF Arena Team 1 have now gone back to back and crowned the official Pool Lifeguard Challenge champions for 2019, outdoing the competition in event one and two with their superior speed in the water followed by a 2nd placing in the CPR Event. Well done to all team members for their amazing performances on the day.

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Contact LIWA

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We provide support, professional development and networking opportunities for individuals in the aquatic industry throughout Western Australia.

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