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Suffolk teenager meets Olympic heroes

Suffolk teenager, James Johnson, was crowned the Royal Life Saving Society’s Lifesaver of the Year and met some of Britain’s Olympic heroes at the 2011 Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards, held at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge on Saturday 5th November.

The 18 year old received his award at the event organised by the ASA, the national governing body for swimming, which celebrates the achievements of unsung swimming stars of all ages and abilities from across the country.

This year’s event was even bigger and better than ever with a glamorous ‘Oscar-style’ awards ceremony hosted by former Olympian, Steve Parry, and a ‘Swim with the Stars’ session where nominees had the chance to make a splash with their sporting heroes.

The awards were attended by the cream of British Swimming, Diving, Synchro and Water Polo including, Nick Robinson-Baker, Cassandra Patten and the GB Women’s Water Polo team.

The RLSS put James forward for its annual award because of his outstanding lifesaving skills and awareness.

James has been directly involved in saving the lives of two people over the past 20 months. At the age of 16, James saved a man who went into cardiac arrest poolside. He administered CPR until the paramedics arrived and due to his quick thinking, saved the man’s life. James kept in touch with the man throughout his recovery and he is now back in the pool swimming safely.

The 18 year old swimming teacher has also saved his sponsor’s life on two occasions. Suffering from epilepsy, she has twice suffered seizures in the pool and both times James has been there to help her to keep above the water and prevent a more serious situation from occurring.

James said, “Today has been fantastic! Both my girlfriend and I attended the Swim with the Stars session, it was brilliant and so nice that I could share it with someone close to me.

“I’m extremely proud to win this award and think it’s a nice way to turn what was a really horrible situation into something positive. It’s great to see so many people coming together to make a fun event out of people’s achievements.”

Olympic and Commonwealth swimmer, James Goddard said, “I think this is a really fantastic day for everyone. It’s so nice to see the nominees interact with international athletes. My daughter Evie is here with me today and she’s really excited to get in the pool and have some fun with everyone.

“I think it’s very important to recognise the successes of the nominees. Every single person here has a really inspirational story and I think their achievements will make others believe they can achieve anything.”

For further information about the Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards, please visit swimming.org.

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