Lifesavers break records at event

Ripley Lifesavers
Ripley Lifesavers

Ripley RASCAL Lifesavers have started their summer campaign to compete with the best GB SURF clubs over the beach season in emphatic fashiom.

A squad of 26 represented Ripley at the SURF GB pool championships in the beautiful setting of Millfield School, in Street, Somerset.

Over two days, the Nipper Championships for 8-13 year olds were followed by the youth championships for 13-19 years, staged in age banded categories and followed by inter club relays.

As a result of their considerable efforts, RASCALS finished fifth out of the 27 clubs taking part and won 29 medals, including four individual gold, five silver and 20 bronze medals, which the club was delighted with.

The Nippers showed skill and team spirit and RASCALS’ new nipper board was delivered with great excitement. This has been secured by fundraising in the club and a generous and much-appreciated donation from Amber Valley Rotary Club.

Georgina Holbird-Gayle won a bronze in Manikin Carry, but there were top ten places for Jessica Hancock, Jason Lockwood, sisters Kezia and Megan Emerton, (who at eight years was RASCALS’ youngest competitor), Alistair Hutchinson and Emma Soames. For more club results see right.

In the youth team, Adam Threlfall set a NEW UK RECORD for 17 year

old swimmer in the super lifesaver, and won two bronze medals. Anthony

Mason a silver, and Frazer Crump bronze. The medalling stars for the club

were Jessica Lockwood, who won two gold and three more silver, medalling

in all her events as a 14/15 year old and George Spendlove who won two

gold, a silver and all top ten finishes in the same age category. These are truly

exceptional achievements at a National Competition.

Great swims resulted in top ten placing for Fern Jackson, Josh Bee Tong,

Jennie Lockwood, Susannah Allsop, Cameron Hutchinson, and Sam Wesson.

Younger swimmers stepped in to support and lift the relay teams to three

bronze medals. Fern Jackson swimming up to under 19 years aged 15,

Georgina Holbird-Gayle in the 15 years and under aged only 11 years, and

Alistair Hutchinson in the 17 years and under aged only 12!! Team relay

swimmers with them earning these medals were, Jess Lockwood, Isabel Hyde,

Frazer, George and Cameron. Josh Bee Tong, Sam Wesson, Anthony Mason

and Adam also won bronze in the under 19 medley relay.

All the Ripley squad were fantastic, the coaching team was exceptionally

proud of them, but by far the most supportive role must be that of parents

of these young athletes, who give of their time and support to allow their

children to compete and excel at sport at this level. The strong team spirit

within RASCALS welcomes new families each year. Lifesaving is an

inclusive and fun sport for young people to participate in throughout their

school and university years, there is always a challenge, and the standards and

physical excellence climb year on year. RASCALS growth in the sport is very

impressive, ‘a successful SURF Club in land locked Derbyshire.... something

must be going well!!’

If you are interested in finding out more about lifesaving or RASCALS please

visit the web site of or come along to a session at

Ripley Leisure centre after 7.30pm on a Friday evening, and a member of the

committee will gladly answer any questions. The next open water training

sessions are at Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham, over the summer months, and

beach training takes place at Bridlington, East Yorkshire. There are practice

weekends in Devon before the National SURF Championships in July. Noncompetitive members are welcomed. Lifesaving can be a hobby or a sport,

there really is something for everybody, and the water safety skill set it

teaches could really make a difference to someone’s life. Give it a try!