South Padre Island, Texas (July 26, 2021) — The United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships will descend on South Padre Island with nearly 1,000 lifeguards and junior lifeguards from across the country competing for individual and team honors, Wednesday, Aug. 4 through Saturday, Aug. 7.
The USLA National Championships, which have taken place every year except for 2020 since 1980, comes to South Padre Island for the first time. The competition twice took place in nearby Galveston, Texas in 1986 and 1992.
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 at Isla Grand Beach Resort Friday night, August 6, in front of what is sure to be a boisterous crowd.
“The USLA is thrilled to bring the best of the best in lifesaving to South Padre Island for the first time in the competition’s history,” said Ed Zebrowski III, Lifesaving Sport Chair for the USLA. “After the disappointment of missing out on a national competition last year, these lifeguards are excited to show off the incredibly hard training that they have been putting in on a daily basis, 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 2019 defending champions from the powerhouse LA County Chapter, who has won the overall team championship 31 out of the past 33 years.
Admission is free for the annual competition, with a majority of the action behind Isla Grand Beach Resort on South Padre Island. The USLA and the Padre Beach Rescue Association (PBRA) are coordinating the competition, which is sponsored by Jersey Mike’s.
The men and women will compete over three days from Thursday, Aug. 5 to Saturday, Aug. 7 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. 4.
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 2021 Jersey Mike’s USLA National Lifeguard Championships will be livestreamed on www.usla.org.
Media is invited to cover the USLA Nationals. Interviews with competitors and event organizers, b-roll requests and onsite coverage can be arranged by contacting Colin Bradley at [email protected]; (860) 490-3748. Live shot requests must be made at least 24 hours in advance.