GBR Lifesaving Team – Lifesaving Championships, Valencia, Spain 2021

The GBR Lifesaving “One Team” is selected from the membership of Royal Lifesaving UK, Surf Lifesaving Great Britain and Surf Life Saving Association of Wales to attend both European and World championships.

The One Team Advisory Group (OTAG), that represents all three organisations, met on the 12th April 2021 to discuss the viability of selecting, declaring and sending a GBR Team to the European Championships to be held near Valencia, Spain 11-18th September 2021.

The OTAG has concluded that due to not being able to run a fair, open and evidenced based selection process, we will not be sending a GBR Team to the European Championships in 2021.

The OTAG has over past years tried hard to create a selection process that gives a fair chance to all athletes from all the home nations to record times and results from multiple selection events across the country. This alongside ensuring the team are supported financially as best as possible so that athletes who wish to compete for their Country are given the best opportunity possible and are only selected based on evidenced ability, not affordability.

Accessibility and Affordability are cornerstone principles of team selection that the OTAG are not prepared to compromise.

OTAG have determined that it will not be possible to run pool selection events in time given the continued and varied restricted access to facilities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; there will be limited opportunities for athletes to train and unacceptable risks to officials and volunteers in running trial events. The restricted timeline to plan and execute beach trials also means that we could not create a fair and open process where our athletes could compete against each other and post results from multiple events and multiple locations.  

Whilst the decision will be a disappointment to some, please understand that as we emerge from this latest lockdown: RLSS UK, SLSA Wales and SLSGB continue to focus their efforts on enabling, pools and clubs to re-open, re-engage in training our lifesavers and delivering lifesaving sport to all our members.

Getting our pools and clubs up and running and ‘back to business’ has to be our focus in 2021, however we are already discussing and working on the plans to send the best team we can to the World Championships in Italy in 2022.

Please note that the Spanish Organisers are not offering an Inter Clubs Event in the 2021 programme.