FOR the second year running Stratford Sharks Swimming Club lifesaving member Joshua Walker was selected to represent RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society) UK at the BeNe Cup competition, which took place in Holland.
As a senior member of the England team this time, Walker was awarded the team captaincy, and he grasped the opportunity to show the younger members of the team how to rise to the challenge of the strong international competition.
Despite personal best times being hard to come by for most of the lifesavers – with the event being only just over a month since the World Championships in France – Walker raced admirably and placed well as he achieved top ten finishes in four out of six of his individual events, with his best result of fifth place coming in the 100m rescue medley.
Then, having only returned home for three days, Walker was grateful to his employer BDR for granting additional leave in order for him to fly back out of the country to make his debut competing for the Surf Lifesaving Great Britain team.
The German Cup competition attracted high class international lifesavers, resulting in several world records being broken.
With over 130 lifesavers in each of the five individual events Walker competed in, it was a great achievement to be placed 39th.
Enjoying being part of the national team and raising his game for the more senior competition, Walker raced well, finishing just outside his personal best times in the 100m manikin events and the rescue medley, but achieving a best time in the 50m manikin carry event.
The new best time of 33.75 was lowered from 34.04 seconds, which had only been set a month earlier at Rescue 2014.
The competition also involved two relay events, which saw Walker join up with his British team-mates and finish in 11th place in the obstacle relay and 19th place in the medley relay race.
He now embarks on a sustained period of training ready for the RLSS UK National Speed Competition, to be held at the London Aquatics Centre in March, and also looks forward to hopefully qualifying to compete on behalf of Great Britain on the international stage again.