The sport of lifesaving is the only known sport in the world where participants first learn the skills for a humanitarian purpose and only later use them in competition.

International Recognition

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Commonwealth Games Federation both recognize the International Life Saving Federation (ILS) as the world governing body for lifesaving sport.

Canadian Sport Governance

The Lifesaving Society represents Canada in ILS and is the governing body for lifesaving sport in Canada. As the governing body for lifesaving sport in Canada, the Lifesaving Society promotes competition as a training incentive and a showcase for the abilities and professionalism of our lifeguards. The Lifesaving Society Canada sport commission manages lifesaving sport for the Lifesaving Society Canada, working together with the 10 member branches across the country.


Lifesaving events can be divided into three types of competitions:

  1. Surf/Open Water
  2. Pool
  3. Emergency Response

Within these competition types there are a variety of races and events that incorporate lifesaving skills.


The Lifesaving Society of Canada sport commission is happy to link to other organizations that contribute to sport development in Canada and around the world.