Swimming & Life-Saving Proficiency Awards
In 1885 the Swimming & Life-Saving Medal was introduced for award to school children in the Liverpool area. Originally a silver medal was awarded to the best boy and best girl at each school that entered a minimum of eight swimmers competing against each other. In the next few years the number of competitors increased each year reaching as many as nineteen in the sixth year but, due to the high cost of manufacturing silver medals they were later downgraded to bronze. The silver medal was then only awarded as a special end of year championship prize. The Society was obliged to withdraw the silver medal altogether from its awards.
The Swimming Medal is possibly the Society’s most attractive medal and must have been highly prized by its winners. Having a blue and white striped ribbon, it has an ornamental back-plate with a laurel (left) and oak (right) leaf surround with superimposed two oars and a trident, and again superimposed a roped lifebelt and within it a shield bearing the Liver Bird crest. The swivel suspender consists of two open mouthed dolphins with twisted tails. The reverse of the medal is plain for inscription.
From 1885 to 2016 the Society has awarded 1,238 Silver and 964 Bronze Swimming Proficiency Medals. Since the Silver Medal was withdrawn, the Society has also awarded many framed Swimming Proficiency Certificates and also Costume Badges to winners and runners-up at each school.
At the AGM in November 2017 the Committee took the decision to suspend the award of the swimming medals, badges and certificates. Sadly the participation of schools dwindled in the later years as costs increased.