Members of The Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA) travelled to India to participate in a development project, and to attend the ILS Asia Pacific Regional Assembly held in Goa from 26-28 September.
This development project built on the work of 1999-2002 during which RLSSA has assisted in the establishment of the Rashtriya Life Saving Society. The initial development activities concentrated on providing Train-the-Trainer instruction to build the base of instructors and volunteers. Under the guidance of RLSSI founder and President Rear Admiral Purushottam Sharma the organisation has grown dramatically and is serviced by a very enthusiastic and capable team of volunteers.
Aims of the development project in 2003 were to introduce the skills of lifesaving sport as a means of further involving and developing local talent. Australian Barra’s captain Peter Court was chosen to represent RLSSA, along with SLSA counterpart Gavin Hill, as the pair coached and prepared the athletes from India, Sri Lanka, Iran and Hong Kong.
Competitors ranged in age from 15-26 years, and to begin the training process competitors from each nation were mixed together in new teams, each named after a famous swimmer.
“Despite the language barriers the teams worked really well together and their enthusiasm for learning new skills was fantastic, said Court.