Landmark Events from the Evolution of Lifesaving Sport in Greece: 1899-2017
Introduction: Lifesaving sport is a growing sport that attracts the attention of media and athletes internationally. I present the landmark events that contributed to the development of lifesaving sport (LS) in Greece. Method: I implemented a literature that of historical archives, books, press news, videos, and letters that demonstrate some short of activity of Greeks either in Greece or abroad in LS. Results: 1899: King George the 1st, orders the approval of the constitution of the Swimming Club of Athens-Piraeus, in which, his President, P. Nastos, initiated boating and obstacle swim competitions (events that are part of the today's LS Championships). 1973+1975: S. Zigoris participates in the World LS Championships in Italy and Bulgaria respectively, as athlete of the National LS National Team of Bulgaria. 1981: L. Bistarakis and C. Gatsis (Hellenic Red Cross) organize a competition in the Town of Patra. 1982-4: T. Kasimis competes in 3 tournaments in the USA. 1990: Mrs. R. Anagnostou gets gold medal in Manikin Tow at the World Goodwill Masters Games in Morocco. 1996: L. Stefanakis participates in open water LS tournament in Bulgaria and comes first. 1998: The Avramidis brother and sister finish 3rd and 2nd respectively in their groups in the multinational competition "Iron Guard" (Cyprus). 1998: V. Vihou and N. Sahinian (PASHNA) organize open water LS competition. S. Xenakis and T. Stratos (Nautical Club of Chania) organize LS championship with pool and open water events, endorsed by the Ministry of Commercial Navy (Chania). 1999: Stathis and Eleftheria Avramidis train with the National Squad Team of RLSS UK (Leeds). 2000: The Hellenic Red Cross becomes full-member of the International Life Saving Federation. 2001: T. Emmanouelides (MLS), T. Bellios and V. Tsabazis (UGL) organize LS competition (Thessaloniki). 2002: E. Avramidou graduates from Leeds Metropolitan University with dissertation on LS. 2006: K. Bakandreas, N. Giovanidis, T. Katsarou and A. Helmi compete in "Rescue 2006" as National Team (Australia). 2008: F. Kenis (ILS) teaches LS at the Hellenic Red Cross in Patra. 2012: Dr. Avramidis is honored again by the International Swimming Hall of Fame for his contributions. M. Makridakis (PSL) organizes LS competition assisted by M. Bikof (LHTC). 2014: V. Plekis competes as athlete of Jacksonville Club in 4 competitions and finishes 5th overall at the United States Lifesaving Association's National Championship (NLSC). The Hellenic Federation of Underwater Activity (EOUDA) hosts its first LS seminar (Naval Academy). S. Avramidis competes in SOBRASA Rescue. 2015: LS is included in the National Water Safety Program by the Hellenic Ministry of Health. EOUDA conducts the inaugural NLSC. 2016: EOUDA conducts the 2nd NLSC, attended by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. LS is introduced in Higher Education as elective module in the University of Athens, recommended by Dr. Helen Soultanakis and taught by Dr. Avramidis. 2017: S. Andriopoulos and G. Margiolakis (Military Sport Secretariat) include LS in the military games, in collaboration with EOUDA. The Ministry of Education approves for 3rd year LS projects in primary schools. The book "LS" is published. Avramidis participates in the USLA Championship. Summary: Greece has over a century of lifesaving sport activities. Many things remain in order to be done.
Citation: Avramidis, S. (2017). Landmark Events from the Evolution of Lifesaving Sport in Greece: 1898-2017. In: Avramidis S. (Ed.). Conference on Near-Death Experiences while Drowning (p. 26). Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA: International Swimming Hall of Fame.