In mid-November 2017, 27 lifesavers from 10 Asia-Pacific countries attended the ILS Asia-Pacific Region’s Pool Lifesaving Coaching Workshop that was hosted by the Life Saving Society Malaysia (LSSM) in Penang, Malaysia.
The men and women lifesavers from Malaysia, Iran, Sri Lanka, Korea, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand participated in a two-day intensive theory and practical workshop learning details of pool lifesaving sport and refining their lifesaving skills.
The purpose of the Workshop was to provide an opportunity for the ILS Asia-Pacific Region to further develop capacity and capability in the sport of pool lifesaving within its member organisations.
Lifesaving sport engages youth and adults from all nations in the mutual pursuit of excellence in lifesaving. The global focus on cooperation and teamwork to reduce the burden of drowning is a compelling opportunity. Increasing the participation of youth in lifesaving sport is part of the ILS engagement strategy. Lifesaving sport is an important component of this mission.
The Workshop was one component of the Asia-Pacific Regional Plan 2016 to 2020 that identified the need for “a coordinated approach to working together to develop lifesaving sport athletes, officials and event managers, increasing the number and quality of sport development opportunities by linking to existing events, running workshops and engaging in the Lifesaving World Championships in our region.”
Intentionally, the Workshop was held immediately prior to the LSSM 42nd National and 5th International Invitation Life Saving Sports Challenge to enable the Workshop participants to put into practice their learning in an actual pool lifesaving competitive environment.
The Workshop was facilitated by experienced pool lifesaving competitors and coaches in Steven Kent and Samantha Lee from Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) and Leigh Ryan from the Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA).
‘It was amazing to see so many countries working together at an event that will hopefully help grow the sport around the world’, said Leigh Ryan.
Samantha Lee remarked that ‘it was great to see how many of the participants were willing and wanting to get in the water and give everything a go’. Samantha also said, ‘it was awesome to see more countries being involved and hopefully we can continue to grow the Asia-Pacific region’.
Steven Kent was most complementary with ‘the coaches and athletes who attended were a great bunch of people and it was great getting to know them and understand their processes and how they coach and in what conditions and scenarios they coach in’.
The ILS Asia-Pacific Regional Board extends appreciation to the Life Saving Society Malaysia and their Penang Branch for the excellent support in preparing, coordinating and hosting the Workshop. In particular, the Regional Board extends appreciation to the LSSM President Mr Lim Chien Ch’eng and Vice-President Mr Geh Thuan Tek for their support for lifesaving development in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The Regional Board also appreciates Surf Life Saving New Zealand and the Royal Life Saving Society Australia for recruiting and supporting the coaches who were all excellent lifesaving ambassadors.
NORMAN FARMER ESM
ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL PRESIDENT