Ontario Junior Lifeguard Pool Championships Coming
The YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce has again been chosen to host a unique provincial championship in their Health, Fitness & Aquatics Facility at the Julie McArthur Regional Recreation Centre. On June 18 and 19, about 250 youth aged 8 - 15 from across Ontario will compete in the provincial lifesaving sport championships. Last year's competition was the first of its kind to be held in the City of Owen Sound, and the largest ever in the history of the sport in Ontario.
Lifesaving sport is an exciting, highly competitive international sport. "This sport helps to develop young athletes into our future lifesavers and lifeguards. It has a humanitarian purpose first which is one of a kind," says Lisa Adams, Manager of Health, Fitness & Aquatics at the YMCA.
Competitors learn and practice skills used in water rescue. They might have to dive to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a heavy object, swim under and around obstacles, accurately hit targets by throwing out a line from the pool deck, race each other to test their speed or complete other challenges.
Competitions take place both in pools and in waterfront settings. Overall physical fitness, speed, strength, skill and teamwork are key components of this sport, recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation.
The Lifesaving Society and the Town of Saugeen Shores, in conjunction with the Saugeen Shores Lifesaving Club (SSLC), have partnered with the YMCA to host the competition. Teams from both the YMCA and the SSLC will be competing.
In 2016 the SSLC will be defending their Jr. Championship title and will be swimming hard to come home with the banner. "SSLC is pleased to be co-hosting the 2016 Junior Championships," says Shanna Reid, Aquatics Supervisor for the Town of Saugeen Shores. "Our area enjoys many water activities all year round, and part of our club's mandate is to increase awareness of drowning prevention awareness for residents of Grey-Bruce."
There will be changes to the YMCA's program schedule over the weekend to accommodate this event. To view the updated schedule please visit ymcaowensound.on.ca. Spectators are welcome!Viewing is free and the community is warmly invited to drop in and check out the competition. Please bring photo ID to access the YMCA facility.The YMCA team will be hosting a silent auction and bake sale over the weekend to help cover registration and uniform costs - donations gratefully accepted.