ILSE Commissions met in Agia Napa (Cyprus)

The ILSE commissions meet regularly in January – this year in the Atlantica Aeneas Resort in Agia Napa at Cyprus from 14th to 16th of January 2011. The meetings of the 56 representatives of the member federations took place in a very good and constructive atmosphere. ILSE President and Vice-President of ILS Dr. Klaus Wilkens awarded Danny Bryant (SLSA Great Britain), Ortwin Kreft and Hemut Stöhr (both DLRG Germany) with the “Knight in the Order of Lifesaving”. Some other commission members were awarded with the “ILSE Certificate of Merit” or honoured for their long and good co-operation with the German Lifesaving Federation with the “Certificate of Merit” of DLRG. Congratulations to all. For more information about the topics of the discussions in the commissions please read the full article.

The Education Commission led first time by Dr. Dirk Bissinger was dealing with the European Qualification Framework (EQF). As planned, seminars and content were determined in detail. Furthermore, several countries like Norway, Switzerland and Spain gave presentations on their actual training programs. Additional topics were Risk Management including FMEA and new ways of communication.

The discussion in the Rescue Commission under its Chairman Martin O’Sullivan included the representation on CEN (European Standards) Committees, the involvement with the EQF (European Qualifications Framework), the ILS Award Equivalency structure and CPTD (Continuing Professional Training & Development).
The update of the Risk Assessment document, the appointment of Tutors and Senior Tutors and the right way to update Senior Tutors and Tutors were other important items for the meeting. The Risk Assessments courses run during 2010 were evaluated and new courses planned for 2011. They will be published in the ILSE Calendar.
Other topics were the hand signals and their use, as recently discussed and agreed in ILS as well as a Position Statement relating to use of mobile phones by lifeguards whilst patrolling. The Rescue commission talked also about lifeguard changeover procedures, Public Rescue Equipment and the use of technology for meetings.

The Sports Commission received the progress report from the Spanish Federation about the organisation of the European Championships in Alicante by Marta Cuetos. More information is available at . When the invitation is issued, very soon, FESS will publish also information about the booking of accommodation through the official travel agent.
Pia Holmen gave the progress report from the Danish federation on the 2011 European Championships for Juniors. More information is available at at end of January. The Opening Ceremony will be on Friday 2nd January.
The Sports Commission decided about the key officials for the next events, about the report and proposals of the College of Referees and training courses for officials, about the inspection for the next European Juniors Championships in Sweden 2012 and to organise the European IRB Championships every two years beginning from 2011. In September 2011 an IRB Championship shall take place again in Bournemouth (UK).
ILS will become member of the IMGA in April 2011. This is one of the pre-conditions that the European Championships for Masters can be integrated into the European Masters Games 2011 in Lignano (Italy). ILSE and IMGA need the support by the Italian federation in the organization of the event. ILSE will inform as soon as possible about the progress in this question.
It was a long free-range discussion considering the issues raised by the Italian coach Antonello Cano and ILSE Secretary General Dr. Detlev Mohr how to reduce the programme of the championships for national teams and interclubs to make them more attractive for the participants, hosts and spectators. Under the leadership of Chairman Bob Dekkers it was agreed that:
– the current Championships are too long,
– the workload is too high for athletes, officials, volunteers,
– the costs are too high for the organising host and participants,
– there is a need to present lifesaving as a multi-sport event,
– it is important to be able to sell lifesaving sport to the media and spectators,
– events should simulate a rescue if possible.
The Sports Commission developed a new programme for the European Championships in the future with only 3 individual and 2 team events for the pool as well as for the beach/ocean plus the SERC as part of the overall pointscore. The applications have to be approved by the ILSE Board of Directors.

The Management and Administration Commission (MAC) evaluated the Best Practice Model Seminar conducted the day before the commission meeting. The MAC got a positive feedback from the about 25 participants. MAC Chair Di Standley introduced the seminar as a platform for exchange of ideas and experience. In the centre of discussion they found a vision of a European Drowning Statistics and the samples of statistics conducted by the Irish and German Lifesaving Federation. Followed was this topic by presentations on new swimming and lifesaving education projects in Finland and Norway. The Swedish CEO, Karin Brand, introduced the development of an inflatable rescue tube and Esther Pearson from SLSA-GB the model of Assessment and Management of Event Water Safety and Di Standley an alcohol awareness project. Thomas ter Stege, Netherlands, talked about ways to attract volunteers for lifesaving activities. EU announced the year 2011 as a Year of the Volunteers. ILSE Board has already in summer 2010 made up the decision to invite its member organisation to participate with own national activities. The MAC again discussed the integration of lifesaving and the necessary information in ILSE for everybody involved. Not yet solved is the aspect of any feedback from the member organisations about their activities.
The success of the seminar caused the MAC to plan a next one for 2012 but also to try to attract still more representatives from the national organisations.
Together with ILSE Secretary General Dr. Detlev Mohr MAC discussed opportunities to increase and optimize the Website of ILSE in details and under the aspect of the existing different user groups. One idea is, to install a members` area with a restricted access.

The meeting ended with a dinner. ILSE President Dr. Klaus Wilkens thanked the host federation for the organization of the meeting and their great hospitality.