Joondalup lifeguards win 2019 Pool Lifeguard Challenge

LIWA president Jeff Fondacaro, Lewis Downes, Leigha Wood, Kieren Lawrenson, Paolo Da Silva and Royal Life Saving WA chief executive Peter Leaversuch.
LIWA president Jeff Fondacaro, Lewis Downes, Leigha Wood, Kieren Lawrenson, Paolo Da Silva and Royal Life Saving WA chief executive Peter Leaversuch.

FOUR lifeguards from HBF Arena Joondalup proved the winning team in the 2019 Pool Lifeguard Challenge this month.

Kieren Lawrenson, Paolo Da Silva, Leigha Wood and Lewis Downs from the arena’s first team took out first place for the second year in a row.

They topped the scoreboard during the first two relay race events, the swim obstacle and tow relays, putting them in a great position going into the final CPR and emergency scenario events.

HBF Stadium team members Sofia Chaves, Alex Coulter, Thomas Wagstaff and Lachlan Tassell.

The challenge took place on February 21 at the HBF Stadium outdoor pool in Mt Claremont, with 17 teams from various aquatic centres competing at the event.

Swan Active Ballajura joined this year’s competition, sponsored by the Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics and facilitated by Royal Life Saving WA.

The event, held annually since 2007, tests the skills of lifeguards and encourages continued improvement of lifeguard teams at aquatic centres across WA.

Regular teams that returned this year included two from Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre, Fremantle Leisure Centre, two from City of Canning, Beatty Park Leisure Centre, two from HBF Arena, HBF Stadium, Bayswater Waves, two from Leisurefit Booragoon, Swan Active Beechboro and Geraldton Aquarena.

The Geraldton team, who got up at 3am to make the journey to Perth for the event, placed second while HBF Stadium came third.

Geraldton team manager David Emery, Japer O’Byrne, Emma Smith, Ellie Pead and Abbey Benham.

The day began with a team relay and obstacle course, with the second event being a Super Lifeguard Challenge, in which teams showed their swimming, manikin tow and CPR skills.

The final challenge involved teams responding to one of three acted-out emergency scenarios: a spinal, CPR or first-aid, when teams go into lockdown, unaware of the scenarios unfolding on the pool deck.

This year, lifeguard teams had to work together to scan a busy scene, which was filled with plenty of distractions.

The incidents managed by the lifeguards included a mother not supervising her young child, a confrontation with a loud, angry aquarobics instructor whose class had been interrupted by a stray water polo ball, a person injured on a giant inflatable, and a swimmer lying unconscious and face down in the water.

2019 Pool Lifeguard Challenge results

Event 1 – swim obstacle relay

1st: HBF Arena team 1

2nd: HBF Stadium

3rd: Geraldton

4th: Leisurefit Boorgaoon team 1

Event 2 – Swim Tow Relay

1st: HBF Arena team 1

2nd: Leisurefit Booragoon team 1

3rd: Fremantle LC

4th: Geraldton

Event 3 – Team CPR

1st: HBF Arena team 2

2nd: HBF Arena team 1

3rd: Cockburn ARC team 2

4th: Leisurefit Booragoon team 2