ripley RASCALS, the town’s lifesaving club, has given a fine account of itself at the RLSS National Lifesaving Championships.
RASCALS had representatives in seven of the nine age categories at the Sheffield Pond’s Forge and gained medals in each of the individual events.
RASCALS won 14 championship medals, a record for the club. The East Midland Regional team finished second from the 13 representatives.
Junior girl pair Jessica Lockwood and Olivia Broughton won the National Championship, with gold in the swim and tow.
Olivia powered home third, in her first year of this age category, to support Jess, who was the quickest on the day. They won silver in the aquatic test and took the championship by a good margin.
Jessica has qualified for this championship for the last four years, medalling every year with different partners, but this was her first as crowned National Champion.
RASCALS had two senior girl qualifying pairs, Jessica Ratcliffe and Victoria Thelfall, who were sixth overall with bronze medals in the swim and the aquatic test.
Susannah Allsop and Olivia Strachan were seventh, with silver in the swim and a bronze in the line throw.
Susannah was the second fastest swimmer in her age category in the swim and tow. Ripley’s senior boy pair of Adam Threlfall and Sam Wesson were sixth, with a bronze medal in the swim. Sam was the third fastest boy in this event. Josie Lockwood, a RASCALS club member away at Birmingham University, swam for the West Midlands, finished sixth and was third in her swim.
Karen Dening, competing in the masters section, had an outstanding championships, winning overall by a huge margin. She won gold in the swim and silvers in all other sections. Karen, RASCALS’ club captain, has been a consistent competitor in lifesaving over many years, and, returning after the birth of her son, has shown tremendous fitness and determination, an inspiration to all members of the club.
These annual championships comprise a staged aquatic incident where competitors are judged on their ability to manage potentially life-threatening situations with multiple casualties, a life support initiative test assessing cardio pulmonary resuscitation and emergency casualty stabilising skills.
A line throw and retrieve and the speed and endurance sections of a swim and rescue tow complete the competition.
After the very successful club ‘Taster Day’ run in the autumn, club numbers have raised by over 15 new junior members who will be the future competitors in the years to come.
Team manager Daniel Woodthorpe said: “The results are excellent again for RASCALS. In the swim and tow sections we were never out of the top four, which is testimony to the quality of the coaching and the commitment of the swimmers. The squad were a credit to themselves and the club, as always.”
Lifesaving is a sport for anyone eight to 80, competitive or for fun, mentally exacting and physically demanding, open water and pool based, a fulfilling hobby, or possibly a sporting discipline in which to represent your country, RASCALS have eight members on the UK development squad.
Ripley Lifesavers meet at the leisure centre on a Friday evening at 7.45pm and welcome new members. Visit the website at www.ripleyrascals.org or contact Jez Johnson, the head coach.