Create your lifesaving club

Before starting creating a lifesaving club, we strongly recommend that you participate in a competition as volunteer or spectator. It definitely is the best way to understand this sport’s distinctive features and functioning. Consult the sports calendar for the upcoming lifesaving sport competitions.

Several elements must be taken into account when creating a lifesaving club. The following guidelines will help you in this process.



Recruitment is the very basis of a club’s survival, and the way to make a club thrive; it must be constant. A club is obviously nothing without athletes or participants. Members can be recruited among existing competition clubs, such as swimming, water-polo or diving clubs, or among an aquatic facility’s employees. You can explain how joining a lifesaving club is a good way to get continuous training. Advertising your club in the facility’s aquatic activity schedule is also an excellent way to recruit members.

To register your lifesaving club, contact Laurianne Breault, Lifesaving Sport Coordinator, at


All lifesaving clubs must be accredited. We also strongly advise to have your club registered as a non-profit organization (NPO). Since your club will spend (and possibly receive) money, being an NPO will facilitate transactions and make finding sponsors easier. The Lifesaving Society has created a guide listing all steps to become an NPO to help you in this process. 


Depending on the type(s) of competition to which your club wishes to participate, you will need specific equipment for trainings and competitions. For example, athletes participating in emergency response competitions must bring their own spineboard and first aid equipment, and athletes participating in surf competitions need to bring their own rescue board.

Consult the rule handbook (in French only) to know what equipment is required for each event, and what is provided by the competition’s organizing committee.


Organizing a regional competition significantly contributes to lifesaving sport and your own club’s development. It is also the most profitable way for a self-financing club to obtain money. Good planning is key to successfully carrying out such a project; this is why the Lifesaving Society, in collaboration with several volunteers, has created a competition organization guide (in French only). You can also contact the Lifesaving Sport Coordinator for support.  Note that all lifesaving competitions must be approved by the Lifesaving Society’s Lifesaving Sport Coordinator, and must comply with this sport’s rules and regulations.


The athletes’ skills will progress gradually, depending on each individual’s knowledge and experience. Coaches can greatly help the development of their team’s athletes. They are resourceful people whose main role is to plan and create the club’s trainings.  In fact, all coaches have the duty to determine their role within the team. The importance of having someone coach the team must not be neglected; coaches offer support to athletes who want to have fun while improving their knowledge and performances. They also often act as mediators within their team and can be needed to cool down unnerved competitors. If you want to coach a team, you’ll need an accreditation for the current season. It is also strongly recommended to at least have a Lifesaving Instructor award.


Never forget most competitors are students, so weekends and evenings are often the best times for trainings. To avoid any waste of time and make sure athletes have fun, trainings must be planned and structured. The Lifesaving Society can advise coaches on how to plan and structure trainings, and provide them with training examples.


1) Programme Clés en main du sauvetage sportif(in French only)

This guide explains all three types of lifesaving sport competitions (emergency response, physical and surf). It has been created to help affiliate members, instructors, officials and athletes start lifesaving clubs in their region. These guidelines apply to all provincial competitions.

2) Form RE-303 : Demande de constitution en personne morale sans but lucratif(in French only)

3) Creating a Non-Profit Legal Person” Guide

Use this form to register your club as a non-profit organization; this will make obtaining financing and sponsorship a lot easier. In the next few years, it will be mandatory that all lifesaving clubs be registred as non-profit organizations.

4) Guide de préparation d'une compétition de sauvetage sportif (Piscine-Technique)(in French only)


A guide to help organize emergency response competitions.