‘Life Ring’ as from the name itself was a professional development program organized by the Rotaract Club of Colombo West to deliver the participants about the basic lifesaving techniques that could come handy in our day to day life situations. The project was held at Sugathadasa Swimming Pool Complex on 20th August 2017.
On the Sunday morning I was pretty much excited to participate in this initiative one, because I always wanted to go and have a swim in the Sugathadasa Swimming pool, second was to get the basic tips of lifesaving which I was yearning to learn for like 2 years now.
After every participant was present at the location project chair from the Rotaract Club of Colomb West Rtr.Shuraif Rahman welcomed all of us and briefed about the flow of the project. First activity of the program was a brief lecture by the mentor of the program Mr.Mahesh Anudatta about the history of Life saving around the world and about do’s and not do’s in basic lifesaving situations. Mr.Mahesh Anudatta was from Sri Lanka Lifesaving Association with years of experience and international service.
The basic advice he gave through his lecture was very important since the common knowledge we had about basic lifesaving was outdated. We were quiet impressed by how much we could contribute to save a life in land and in water with minimum danger to ourselves. For about 45 mins Mr.Mahesh enlightened us with the theoretical knowledge. For the delight of the participants next up was the practical session.
After we changed into a more comfortable/athletic attire we gathered around the diving pool for the next activity. Mr.Mahesh took another 30 minutes of his time to demonstrate the techniques he taught us at the lecture. He clearly demonstrated the steps of attending to a drowned person after he/she was brought back to land. We were partnered up and gave us time to practice/perform the techniques which were taught, to make sure that we carved the techniques into our excited brains.
After the practical session by Mr. Mahesh, Rtr.Shuraif took over the proceedings to guide us through the lined up activities. Shuraif wanted to us get a real life experience by getting into water with clothes and swim for 50m. Since every participant were able to swim we thought it was an easy task to swim with clothes on, but the task was difficult because we had to swim in the diving pool which was 18 feet in depth. Even though it was tough everyone managed to swim the 50m and then we changed into our swimming attire inside the pool, this was another task set by our coach Rtr.Shuraif: D
Next activity was to test the participants with their swimming abilities, if the participant was able to swim 100M, he/she was certified to follow a beginner lifesaving program, if the participant was able to swim 200M he/she was certified to follow an intermediate lifesaving program finally is the if the participant was able to swim 400M or more he/she was certified to follow an advanced lifesaving program. After this activity Mr.Mahesh recommended us with the best lifesaving course we should follow.
After all lectures, demonstrations, testing the last activity lingered near to us. It was an activity designed to overcome the fear for heights. We were taken into the diving board of the Sugathadasa Swimming Complex to overcome one of our lives greatest fears. One by one we jumped from the diving boards, the higher went, higher our heart beats went. Even though we were scared at the first attempt we overcame the fear and had courage to increase the jumping height. Participants jumped from the highest diving board, which was once in a lifetime experience then we tried synchronized jumps as well. The view from the top most diving board was magnificent, we were able to the see entire Colombo from there. The jump from that board trumped the view.
I’m going to stop the experience sharing here because it’s something you need to try out yourself. Kudos to Rotaract Club of Colombo West for organizing such a wonderful professional development project. We met new friends, faced new adventures, and learned life lessons through this venture. It was indeed an Engagement of Rotaractors while redefining Friendship.
Rtr. IPP. Kavinda Bandulasena