Four Larne swimmers, Lorcan Gourley, Ollie Parkes, Lui Hurson and Finn Purdy, were selected to represent the UK at the Lifesaving Orange Cup on the weekend of the 12th and the 13th of November in Eindhoven, Holland.
Lifesaving competitions take place in 50m Olympic pools and there are a number of different events including
- obstacle races that requires the competitors to swim under gates as they make there way down the pool
- manikin carry in which the competitions will retrieve a manikin from the floor of the pool and swim with it into the wall
- rope throw event during which lifesavers will compete in pairs with one person on poolside who throws a rope to their teammate and pulls them into the wall while the second person kicks their legs
Like swimming there are also relay events and the team from the UK entered at least one team in every relay event to go up against competitors from Germany, Holland, Italy, Canada, South Africa and other countries from across the world. The relay team that Lui Hurson and Finn Purdy were part of broke two British records in the Medley and Obstacle relays.
The Northern Irish contingent of the UK team who train with Larne Swimming Club also did well in the individual events with all four of them pulling out all the stops to swim personal best times while representing their country. Lui Hurson even managed to pick up a silver medal in the junior category for the 200 metre obstacle swim.
One of the coaches travelling with the UK team, Elaine Alexander, who is a former girls captain of Larne Swimming Club and now the swimming instructor at Belfast Royal Academy said the competition provided a valuable experience for the lifesavers of competing at an international level.