Competitive lifesaving between clubs at universities across Britain began as a small collaboration between rival clubs over 15 years ago and quickly expanded as more clubs became involved.
The formation of BULSCA in 2002 was in response to this growing popularity of lifesaving sport at universities; with the university lifesaving league bring established in the 2002/03 season to provide a connection between the various competitions hosted by the universities over a season.
A detailed rule manual was drawn up to give some consistency between competitions in this first season. It wasn’t too long after that BULSCA was formalised with the publication of the first BULSCA constitution in 2004.
It is now not uncommon to see 20 to 30 teams at a majority of the competitions. In addition, to the BULSCA league in an effort to achieve British Universities and College Sport (BUCS formerly British Universities Sports Association BUSA) recognition in the 2006-7 season, BULSCA introduced the Student Nationals, a full weekend of competition combining both speed events and traditional events.
The biggest change in BULSCA happened in 2007, with the formation of a full BULSCA committee. Previously, there had been a BULSCA Chairperson who dealt with the day to day running of BULSCA with the individual Club Captains making up the rest of a general committee. However, as BULSCA grew in size and ambition it became necessary to form the full committee, made up of a mixture of current BULSCA members and BULSCA “old boys”. The Club Captains still make up a general committee, to whom the BULSCA committee answers.
Today the BULSCA calendar is extensive with some clubs taking part in around 8 BULSCA league competitions a year as well as Bournemouth Beach Regatta, PBCLSA (Poole Bournemouth & Christchurch Life Saving Association) indoor and outdoor twilight competitions, RLSS branch and national competitions, international competitions, and training events such as Bournemouth Beach Weekend and the Beach Training Camp (typically held in Spain).
BULSCA has previously provided volunteers for events such as the London Triathlon, the Blenheim Triathlon, the RLSS’s ‘Save a Baby’s Life’ and ‘Get Safe 4 Summer‘ campaigns, along with many more local small scale events.
Although BULSCA predominantly exists to run the league and Championships, BULSCA are making efforts to run courses which will aid our members through their lifesaving time, and to encourage participation in Lifesaving and Lifesaving Sport. With a Beach Lifeguard course already in motion, there are also plans for Instructor courses, as well as holding a coaching workshop.
If you would like to know more about BULSCA or to get involved yourself, whether as a university student, a coach, or a judge; please contact the current committee.