Henley Standard Property


Order your copy Advertise with us! HENLEY PAGES
Delivering the news from Henley on Thames and South Oxfordshire for over 100 years
  News     Sport    Celebrity   What's On Regulars Community Info Henley Standard TV Lifestyle Property Jobs Classifieds Gallery Trade
                               Follow us    Follow us    Newsfeed Search the Henley Standard  
Lifesaving club goes under after 35 years as students dry up
Published 18/02/13

A LIFESAVING club in Henley has been forced to close after 35 years due to rising course prices and lack of interest.

The lifesaving section of Henley Swimming Club has been based at Henley leisure centre since 1977.

But after just two people signed up for its latest course, the club had no option but to stop coaching.

The decline in numbers has been partly blamed on the decision of the Royal Life Saving Society to withdraw its bronze medallion award.

This was used as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and GCSE courses and taught water rescue skills, resuscitation and basic water safety.

The club offered weekly sessions during term time for anyone over the age of 13 and at its peak would take around 10 trainees.

It also offered a qualification for teachers called the National Rescue Award.

Trainer assessor Ann Parker, who had run the club since 2000, said: “The bronze medallion was the most basic and popular qualification.

“When the society stopped the award it meant that the only other option was for people to take the national pool lifeguarding qualification, which is only useful for pools and not many other activities.

“It was also expensive at around 300 to 500. Youngsters cannot afford that and neither can their parents. The course also has to be renewed every two years.”

Mrs Parker, 78, from Stoke Row, said she was “very sad” to see the club go.

“It does a lot for the river and the town — it is a big loss,” she said. “Henley is very well known for everything that goes on with the river but we were not getting the interest.

“It also needs someone younger to run the club — it has really got too much for me. But you have to have someone with the relevant qualifications to run the courses and as it is voluntary and not paid, people now do not want or have the time to do it.”

Mary Aldred, of Luker Avenue, Henley, started as secretary of the club in 1977.

She said: “The Royal Life Saving Society introduced a new set of badges, though these do not lead to any formal qualifications.

“Further qualifications are needed so that someone can become a lifeguard at a public pool or on a beach.

“There does not seem to be much interest in lifesaving. We have put the word around local swimming groups and had no response.

“With Henley being a riverside town everyone needs to have some knowledge of water safety. It is a worthwhile thing to teach people to be safe and be able to help others in difficulty.

“People will now have to go further away for this, which is a shame as it should be in Henley.”

The women estimated that hundreds, possibly thousands, of people had taken qualifications at the club over the years.

Mrs Aldred said: “It is a real shame. The Reading lifesaving branch has also closed, so I think people might now have to go as far as Bracknell or High Wycombe to do the course.”

Di Standley, chief executive of the Royal Life Saving Society, said: “In the current economic climate we are continuing to see the devastating impact this has on our lifesaving and lifeguarding clubs.

“We are saddened to hear of closures such as this but we will continue to provide support to all our member clubs.”

A spokesman for the society said the bronze medallion award was now being offered as part of the Survive and Save programme.

She said: “This strengthens our programme as additional silver and gold medallions are available to develop valuable lifesaving skills and provide clubs with more opportunities to engage with members and the local community.”

Published 18/02/13

Man exposed himself in children's playground
Former primary head to stand trial
Grandfather crushed to death by wife's car
Landlords bid fond farewell to pub
Cash boost for children's centre pool revamp
New hospital with no beds
Pub set to re-open with pizza oven
Uri Geller donates sculpture to Sonning
Famous names attract record audiences at literary festival
Man, 64, swims Strait of Gibraltar
Geller accused of bending the rules
Grandfather crushed to death by wife's car
Autumn sun shines on 124th ploughing match
John Howell MP completes constituency tour
Pumpkin too big for scales at charity sale
New hospital with no beds
Coach involved in accident on A4074
Horsebox stolen and chassis set alight
Cycle bridge unveiled
Former primary head to stand trial
Latest Video View more from   Henley Standard TV
Dry Leas hosts TourAid rugby festival
Henley Kites see off Caversham Comets
Foster’s hat-trick helps side make progress
Parker bags 7 as Kidmore thrash Reading Irish
£25 winner
Top Videos
Most Popular
Higgs Group
Tel: 01491 419400
Tel: 01491 419419
Tel: 01491 419429
Tel: 01491 419499
Tel: 01491 419449
HIGGS GROUP, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD.

Cookie Policy | Copyright and Terms | Competition Rules | Contact Us | Advertise with us | Site Map
© Higgs & Co (Printers) Limited 2013  |  Registered in England number 1418717