Courtesy: United States Lifesaving Association
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships returns for the fourth time to Virginia Beach, Va., with more than 1,000 lifeguards and junior lifeguards from across the country competing for individual and team honors, Wednesday, Aug. 7 through Saturday, Aug. 10. The USLA National Championships return to Virginia Beach for the second straight year, after LA County took home the title in 2018.
Professional Lifeguards ranging in age from 16 to 80 and Junior Lifeguards from ages nine to 15 will compete in water and beach course events that challenge their lifesaving skills in a myriad of events from surf swims to beach runs; paddleboards to surf boats. A few of the highlights include the Landline Rescue Relay, Ironman and Ironwoman events, and the fan-favorite beach flags event which will be contested under the lights on 29th Street Friday night, August 9, in front of what is sure to be a boisterous crowd.
“The USLA is thrilled to bring together the best of the best in lifesaving for what promises to be an exciting National Championship event in Virginia Beach, a city with a rich lifesaving history,” said Ed Zebrowski III, Lifesaving Sport Chair for the USLA. “These lifeguards are dedicated in their training, not just for the competition but to be better equipped to perform their daily job of protecting their fellow beach-goers.”
Competitors at this year’s Nationals will be chasing the 2018 defending champions from LA County, who reclaimed the title after the perennial powers were dethroned by Monmouth County (N.J.) in 2017. LA County has won the overall team championship 29 out of the past 31 years.
Admission is free for the annual competition, which will take place between 27th and 30th Streets in Virginia Beach. The USLA and the Virginia Beach Lifeguard Association in conjunction with the City of Virginia Beach are coordinating the competition, which is sponsored by Jersey Mike’s.
The men and women will compete over three days from Thursday, Aug. 8 to Saturday, Aug. 10 in various events. The Junior Guards are participants in programs conducted by local lifeguard agencies affiliated with the USLA and represent the future lifeguards for cities and counties. The Junior Lifeguard competition as well as the Under-19 competition will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
The Junior Lifeguard competition will involve three divisions – A Division for 14 and 15-year-olds, B Division for 12 and 13-year-olds and the C Division for 9 through 11 years of age. The Under-19 competition will be comprised of both junior and professional lifeguards ages 16 through 18.
The 2019 Jersey Mike’s USLA National Lifeguard Championships will be livestreamed on www.usla.org.