What is competitive lifesaving?
The Lifesaving Society is the Canadian governing body for competitive lifesaving - a sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
Competition has proven to be an excellent training incentive and showcase for Canada's lifeguards. The Lifesaving Society sponsored lifesaving races as early as the 1930s, and has organized lifeguard competitions since the late 1960s. The first Canadian Lifeguard Championship was held in Winnipeg in 1977. The Society hosted the world lifesaving championships in Vancouver at Rescue '86.
Lifesaving is the only sport in which skills are first learned for humanitarian purposes and only then applied in competition. Competition does not take priority over saving lives, however, it does provide high-profile opportunities to attract new participants to lifesaving programs and to promote public awareness of our drowning prevention aim.