This year, we presented three BULSCA awards for the first time! The aim of the awards, which will be presented annually, is to recognise exceptional performance, commitment and enthusiasm towards Lifesaving sport. The three awards are:

  • BULSCA Club of the Year - awarded to the club which has shown commitment to promotion of Lifesaving both within the University and wider community.
  • BULSCA Volunteer of the Year - awarded to an individual who has shown unrivalled commitment to Lifesaving and promoting Lifesaving activities within their club, branch and region. This individual has made a significant impact in Lifesaving.
  • BULSCA Lifesaver of the Year - awarded to the BULSCA Lifesaver who has shown exceptional achievement in the field of Lifesaving.

Individuals within BULSCA were given the opportunity to nominate fellow Lifesavers and clubs for each award. Nominations were reviewed and voted on by either the committee, or the clubs themselves, and the awards were presented to the winners at the end of Loughborough competition, marking the end of another successful competitive season of BULSCA Lifesaving. 


Winner of the BULSCA Club of the Year award: University of Sheffield Lifesaving Club



Winner of the BULSCA Lifesaver of the Year award: Harry Withers, University of Birmingham Lifesaving Club



Winner of the BULSCA Volunteer of the Year award: Jared Wray, University of Bristol Lifesaving Club

Another year of exciting competition is over, with some great SERCs and exiting swim and tow races.

Congratulations to all teams and competitors who took part this year, and of course to all competition organisers, judges and helpers who make BULSCA competitive seasons possible!


A League Final Scores and Positions:

1st: Loughborough University - 68 points

2nd: University of Birmingham - 65 points

3rd: University of Bristol - 54 points

4th: University of Warwick - 46 points

5th: University of Sheffield - 42 points

6th: University of Southampton - 31 points

7th: University of Nottingham - 25 points

8th: Swansea University- 16 points

9th: University of Plymouth- 12 points

10th: Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (Oxbridge) - 6 points


Loughborough A team with the A League and Loughborough competition trophies.


B League Final Scores and Positions:

1st: Loughborough University - 68 points

2nd: University of Birmingham - 64 points

3rd: University of Bristol - 51 points

4th: University of Sheffield - 43 points

5th: University of Warwick - 37 points

6th:  University of Nottingham - 24 points

7th:  University of Plymouth - 13 points

8th:  University of Southampton - 12 points

Loughborough B team with the B League trophy.


Over the last month, BULSCA Lifesaving clubs across the country have attended their University Welcome Fairs and Sports Fairs. These events are an opportunity to provide information to new and returning students about Lifesaving, answer their questions and persuade them to give the sport a go! Whether its sport, first aid only or just a new social group to meet up with, Lifesaving has something for everyone!

Each Lifesaving Club within BULSCA has something different to offer their members, but usually all are able to provide an opportunity to work towards gaining and maintaining a lifesaving and/or lifeguard qualification, such as the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) and awards from the Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) Survive and Save series. These awards have enabled many students to go on to work at summer camps in the USA, securing part time work as a lifeguard whilst studying during term time (or a full time lifeguarding job during the holidays) and also provides paid and volunteering opportunities at large sporting events and music festivals.

Many clubs get involved with community outreach work within their local area and also within the Universities themselves, by collaborating with other student clubs and groups. There is a range of outreach work that can be carried out, whether it is teaching someone how to save a baby's life or how to carry out basic first aid at work. For some members, their main focus is on the community side of Lifesaving and spreading the knowledge of how to help another person in an emergency situation. 

Finally, the key focus for most clubs is the sporting element. At BULSCA competitions, club members compete in teams of 4 to showcase their first aid and rescuing abilities as a cohesive team before having a bit of fun with a variety of speed based swimming events, with a lifesaving twist of course! Attending competitions is a great way to meet people from other Universities, expand friendship circles and results in a fun weekend for all involved. Many members choose not to compete, but instead come along to the competition as a helper - usually to act as a casualty in a SERC (Simulated Emergency Rescue Competition) and socialise with the rest of the Lifesaving community.


Here are some of the stalls put together by clubs at their University Fairs, if you are a University Student and interested in Lifesaving, follow the links to the club pages or visit them on Facebook! Clubs not listed here can be found on our Find A Club page.

Southampton Warwick Bristol
Birmingham Sheffield Oxford

Date: Saturday 24th November 2018

Competition Organiser:

Registration Address: Goodwin Sports Centre, 132 Northumberland Road, S10 2TY

Isolation Address: Goodwin Sports Centre, 132 Northumberland Road, S10 2TY

Pool Address: Goodwin Sports Centre, 132 Northumberland Road, S10 2TY



Registration: 10:30-11:30

Isolation Close: 12:00

SERCs Start:

Speeds Start:

Food: 21:00

Social: 20:00



League Event: 4x66m Medley Relay (Teams to provide own Fins and Torpedo buoys)

Pool Length: 33m

Food: £6 which includes 1/2 a pizza, wedges and a salad.

Pizza options:

Margherita (V) - with buffalo mozzarella, grated mozzarella, fresh torn basil 

Vegan Margherita (Vv) 

Italian Sausage - with mozzarella, caramelised red onion, oregano 

Fiorentina (V) - with shredded spinach, mozzarella, onion, peppers, olives, parmesan, finished with a baked egg and drizzled with garlic oil 

Nduja - with pepperoni and mozzarella 

Goats Cheese (V) - roasted sweet potato, toasted seeds and mozzarella 

Beef Ragu (H) - with tomato, mozzarella and oregano

Spicy Seitan (Vv) - with vegan mozzarella, red onion, rocket, light tzatziki dressing 

Prosciutto - with wild mushrooms and thyme

Social: £1

Theme: Under the Sea


Team Limit: 30

Team entry cost: £35


Competition Entry:

Please find link to Sheffield Competition Below:

If you have any queries or need to change any information submitted on the form then please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Judge's Sign-up:

Helper's Sign-up:


With the first league competition of the year fast approaching, clubs will be well underway with training up new and old members to ensure that everyone is prepared to compete, and prepared to have lots of fun doing so! After the University Welcome and Sports Fairs (read about those HERE), clubs hold several taster sessions in the fist couple of weeks of term. These sessions are designed to give potential new members an idea of what we do in Lifesaving, and what they can learn over the year if they decide to join. For the clubs, it is one of the best opportunities they have in the academic year to showcase Lifesaving as a sport, a social group and a valuable life skill and encourage new members to join the club and attend sessions regularly. 

Taster sessions vary from club to club, but generally include 'a little bit of everything' and try to provide everyone who attends some new first aid and lifesaving knowledge, even if they decide not to join for the year! Skills can include rescuing someone who is panicking by using a reach rescue, where the lifesaver remains on the side of the body of water and uses an aid (such as a pole or stick) to pull the panicking swimmer to the side, or throwing rescue, where a buoyant aid can be thrown to a swimmer in the water which they can then grab a hold of and use to assist themselves to safety. In terms of first aid skills on land, the recovery position is a quick and easy skill to teach, but also extremely useful to know in day to day life! This also teaches students how to assess if an unconscious person is breathing, and when it is appropriate to call for an ambulance.

It is never too late to join a Lifesaving Club near you! Find your University and Lifesaving contact HERE!

Some photos from Lifesaving taster sessions across the country:












Date: Saturday 8th December 2018
Competition Organiser: Brett Wadley
Competition Location: University of Birmingham Sport and Fitness, B15 2TT
Head Ref: Luke Peel
SERC Setters: Dry - Julia Whitworth, Wet - Jacob Phillipson
Registration: 11.00am
Isolation Close: 12.00pm
SERCs Start: 1.00pm
Speeds Start: 5.00pm
Social: 8.00pm

League Event: 4x25m Manikin Carry
Pool Length: 25m
Food: £3
Social: £5
Theme: Christmas T-Shirts (Will be provided)
Team Limit: 40
Team entry cost: £27
Competition Entry:

The link for the Competition Entry can be found below; 
If you have any queries or need to change any information submitted on the form then please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Judge's Sign-up:

Introducing the 2017/18 BULSCA Committee... 

Read more: Meet the 2017/18 Committee

This article gives information on the upcoming competitions in 2017 that will kick off the BULSCA 2017/18 league season!

Read more: Upcoming BULSCA competitions in 2017

Ragley Crawl was an RLSS open water festival held in Warwickshire in May. Several members of the University of Birmingham Lifesaving Club went to volunteer for the festival and would like to share their volunteering experiences.

Read more: RLSS Ragley Crawl 2017

Four members of the BULSCA Committee attended the RLSS UK Conference 2017 in order to learn more about how to engage members and promote lifesaving, both within BULSCA and externally. Their thoughts on the workshops provided and the conference as a whole are given in this article.

Read more: RLSS UK Conference 2017

The RLSS have an annual ceremony to give thanks to some of the most dedicated and long-standing volunteers within this organisation. This year, three members of BULSCA received awards.

Read more: RLSS UK National Honours

Richard Evans, BULSCA alumni and judge has written the following competition report detailing the events of the BULSCA 2018 Student Championships.

Read more: BULSCA Champs 2018 Competition report

Loughborough Competition will be held on Saturday 28th April.

For more information, please see the article below...

Read more: Loughborough Competition 2018

Everything you need to know about Nottingham Competition 2017 (aka FRESHERS COMP)

Read more: Nottingham Competition 2017

This summer, Loughborough Students Lifesaving Club were proud to announce that three of their athletes had been selected to represent England in the Commonwealth Festival of Lifesaving in Durban, South Africa.

Read more: Update from the Commonwealth Festival of Lifesaving

Everything you need to know about Bristol Competition 2017!

Read more: Bristol Competition 2017

Sheffield Competition 2017 report can be found here!

Read more: Sheffield Competition 2017

This page contains all the information and documentation you need for the BULSCA 2017 General Meeting

Read more: BULSCA 2017 General Meeting

Date: Saturday 8th November 2018

Competition Organiser: Gaby Bush

Registration address: Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ

Pool address: Bristol University SU (Richmond Building), 105 Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1LN

Social venue address: Channings Hotel, 20 Pembroke Road, Bristol, BS8 3BB



Registration open: 10.30am

Isolation Close: 11.30am

SERCs start: 12.00pm

Speeds start: 4.15pm

Food/social: 9.00pm

Results: 9.30pm


League Event - 4 X 50m Obstacle Relay


Food: £5

Meat option: Chicken souvlaki pita wraps with chips

Vegetarian and vegan options available upon request


Social: £2

Theme: Tight, Bright, Sparkles in the Light


Team limit: 36

Team entry cost: £35


Competition Entry Form







Parking Map

Parking Map



The competition report for Warwick Competition has now been uploaded - enjoy!

Read more: Warwick Competition 2017

Three Lifesavers from Loughborough Students Lifesaving Club attended the German Cup in November 2017 - read the article below to find out how they got on...

Read more: BULSCA and the German Cup 2017

Read below for the Birmingham Competition 2018 report...

Read more: Birmingham Competition 2018

Southampton competition report has now been published. Please see below for further information...

Read more: Southampton Competition 2018

This page contains all the information needed for the BULSCA 2018 AGM. Some information such as the agenda will be published at a later date so keep checking back for more information.

Read more: BULSCA 2018 AGM

Loughborough comp 2018 report


The 28th April 2018 saw the final league competition of the year held by Loughborough University Lifesaving Club. 25 teams entered from 9 different clubs, this was the last chance for teams to gain points towards the A and B league tables!

The competition began with a very dark dry SERC, which was set at night time with one member of the team entering the scene carrying a first aid kit 40 seconds after everyone else. Casualties included unconscious breathing and non-breathing, an asthmatic, choking, fractured foot, someone with another fracture and bruising, a bleeding knee and someone stuck up a. Only one team, Birmingham A, was awarding marks for treatment of the bruises.

Loughborough A scored the winning number of marks, Loughborough D came second and in third place was Birmingham C.

Effective communication was weighted very heavily, which was to be expected considering that the ability of sight was more or less removed. Both teams from Sheffield proved that they like talking to each other, as they each scored the highest mark awarded for this element.

As always, the wet SERC followed shortly after with the added bonus of a first aid kit upgrade (full as apposed to the travel sized required for the dry). Set at a hotel beach, the team entered on a sandbank where a casualty with a bleeding hand was sat. After swimming across to the beach they would find an unconscious non breathing child hidden behind an umbrella along with said first aid kit, a bag containing various items and a folded towel in which a phone could be found (or thrown into the water in the case of Bristol B) if unravelled. Casualties in the water included an asthmatic, body on bottom, a seizing casualty, non-swimmer, weak swimmer and a guy chilling on a big floaty rubber ring, complete with sun glasses.

6 out of 25 teams made a phone call, with 112 being the magic number; Birmingham A scored the most marks for their phone call. Overall, Loughborough C scored the most marks, Loughborough A came in second and Birmingham A followed closely behind in third place.

7 teams were successful with getting all of their casualties in during the rope throw; Birmingham A took first place with a time of 1:25.53, almost 10s fast than the prior competition! Loughborough B came second and Loughborough A third in this event.

The second speed event, medley relay saw Loughborough A as the winners, achieving a time of 1:44.19, followed by Loughborough E in second and Loughborough B in third.

The final league event of the season was the trusty swim and tow, everyone’s most anticipated relay! Teams should know the drill by now: float a couple of lengths, swim a couple of lengths and tow a person a couple of lengths – not in that order for the first swimmer who gets a diving start. Loughborough A came first with a time of 6:03.29. Loughborough C came in second and Loughborough B were third.

But the competing portion of the day was not quite finished! Some extra pool time allowed for a friendly 4x50m freestyle relay and a judges rope throw whooo! Ben proved that he still has it, despite his rope throw record being beaten at champs earlier this year, with a winning time of between 11-12 seconds. Second place in judges rope throw was about 15 seconds.

Announcement of the competition results followed fish and chips. Medals were awarded to the top three teams in their respective A an B leagues, with Bristol A and Loughborough C taking home bronze medals, Loughborough D and Birmingham A taking silver and finally taking the gold medals were Loughborough A and Loughborough B. In terms of overall results, Loughborough A came first, Birmingham A second and Loughborough B third. Loughborough A were also awarded their competition trophy (because they were the winners).

The final A and B league results were also announced, as this was the last competition of the year! The league trophies were presented to the overall winning A and B league teams from the whole year. Loughborough took away both trophies, proving a very successful competition, and year, for them – congratulations! The final league results for the year can be found on the website under ‘competitions – League results’.

Of course, the day was topped off with celebrations by all at an excellent social complete with wavy garms.

Congratulations to George and the rest of Loughborough for hosting another fantastic competition which was thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance!

Congratulations to everyone who has competed, helped, bodied and judged at any one or all of the competitions this year – you’ve all worked hard and it definitely goes to show when the standard of competition and running of competitions is so high! Congratulations to everyone who is graduating this year, we hope to see you back in future competitions fulfilling a different role to competitor! Good luck to everyone with any exams you may have, see you next year along with your new freshers (some of whom will have been born in 2000…)!



The annual RLSS UK Conference was held last weekend, 30th June – 1st July at Hinckley Island in Leistershire. Three members of the BULSCA committee attended with sponsorship from the Avon and North Wiltshire and Wessex RLSS UK branches, and were able to represent both their branches and BULSCA. A few things were presented and shared at the weekend which may be relevant to BULSCA clubs and members, which have been noted down and will hopefully be of use! Once power point presentations are made available to attendees, we will do our best to share these with you also.


Lifesaving awards review

RLSS UK is conducting a big review on the awards that they offer, as well as introducing the new Water Smart Award. Feedback showed that a national water safety standard, accreditation for existing awards, a dry side award and an award for under 8’s were all things that society members would like to see in terms of awards from RLSS UK.

Following the development of the Water Smart Award, as discussed later, the next stage of the review will focus on the future of Survive and Save programmes. Each strand is being re-written to make them standalone, the programmes will be simplified, perhaps renamed and will be moved to online processing, which will be easier and quicker than the current procedure. The timed swim will be removed from the Bronze Medallion, costs will be reviewed and medallion and beach/open water courses will allow candidates to have reduced time off NPLQ/ beach/open water equivalent course. One aim of this is to retain lifesavers and lifeguards within clubs once qualifying, ultimately increasing membership and participation in lifesaving. There will be a transition period once the review has been completed to accommodate any refurbishments to current programmes.


Water Smart Award

The Water Smart Award addresses the need for a national water safety standard, and is something that RLSS UK feels should be achieved by everyone in the UK and Ireland. The award has been approved by the Approval and Appraisal group, which consists solely of volunteers and may provide a good fundraising opportunity for BULSCA clubs. The audience for the award includes anyone who is seeking to raise water safety awareness, from the clubs themselves, leisure centres, schools and community groups such as Scouts and Cadets, the course is easy and straightforward. There is no specific age guidance, but the award is delivered according to candidate ability and provides a base level of water safety knowledge. Joshua has composed an overview of the course which outlines the main details.



Club 2020

RLSS UK is looking at rolling out a new bench mark for clubs. Clubs view their success differently from one another and Club 2020 aims to support individual clubs with their individual goals and paths to success, without the tight regulations such as those with IQL. It will ensure that clubs have the correct products and resources to enable adaptation within their respective communities, and assist in overcoming each clubs challenges and identifying their opportunities.

‘Affiliated Club’ level is the minimum operating level which the RLSS expects of its clubs, where they can then move on to becoming an ‘Accredited Club’ once it can be shown that the club is running a safe environment for its members. There are further levels which clubs are able to achieve, each with set requirements such as appointing a trained safeguarding officer and having a constitution, and other requirements which can be adapted to suit the club and its aims. The BULSCA committee is in talks with headquarters on how this will apply to University Lifesaving clubs, as there are some small differences between them and other community clubs.

The Club 2020 matrix will assist in the creation of new Lifesaving clubs.


Membership Review

Andrea Roberts is currently working on reviewing RLSS UK membership and would like as many people to have an input as possible. As part of the review, Andrea would like opinions on what members use their RLSS UK membership for, why it is important for them and what more they would like to see from the RLSS as a member. If you are interested in participating in the discussion, there is a Facebook group where you can get involved in the discussion.


Creating PR Opportunities to promote your activity

It is useful for clubs to have contacts with their local media outlets, as well as local RLSS UK branches and other community clubs within the area in order to improve recognition of both the work and activity the club carries out and also spread the message of drowning prevention further by working with others.

Events and campaigns will raise awareness as well as increase involvement in activity. Ensure your Universities and Student Unions know what you’re getting up to! If your activity is more community focused, let your other local media know and perhaps reach out to other clubs within your area to widen involvement. Don’t be afraid to contact your local branch or RLSS UK HQ for some help with producing an article, or accessing contact information for local media. If you are running a campaign within your University and/or local area, ensuring a consistency in messaging will help to gain traction and assist in increasing the reach of your messaging.



If you have any questions about RLSS conference, please do not hesitate to contact the BULSCA committee. As mentioned previously, we will endeavour to provide presentations which were delivered if possible when they are made available to us, however we hope that this article provides the most relevant information to BULSCA clubs.