Here’s how to get involved at each level.

Club Competition – Club Night

A member’s first introduction to competition may be club night races at your swim club. Your club may conduct time trial races each week of various stroke and distance with the aim being to improve on members’ personal best times. Consider including a fun introductory race (eg noodle race, 17m race, assistance with older kids) to welcome brand new members to your club. Also consider offering extra assistance to any new or potential members who may be from culturally diverse backgrounds or have a disability or any other minority groups.

Clubs often finish the season with club championship races where competitors are split into age groups to race head to head for points.

Weekend Meets

On most weekends throughout the year, meets (swimming carnivals) are held at pools all over NSW. These meets are hosted by local swim clubs and area associations to provide stepping stones for athletes to qualify for higher levels and raise money for the club or Area. There are two main types of meets held by local clubs: Development Meets and Qualifying Meets.

Development Meets

These events are entry level for developing swimmers without official times and for new competitors. These meets may have “Break Times” listed on their programs, which are times that the competitor cannot be faster than. This effectively eliminates the fast and seasoned competitors. These events are a great starting point for all new club members and recreational competitors.

Qualifying Meets

These events are for athletes wishing for a little bit more of a challenge and potentially to push forward into higher level of competition. These events may have “Qualifying Times” listed on their programs which are times that the competitor must be faster than to enter. Times can be achieved at various events. Ask your club if their times are official or not. These events are standard and all members can compete provided they meet the qualifying times if applicable.

Combination Meets

Combination meets will be a meet that has Development and Qualifying races at the same event. Clubs often choose to host these to encompass everyone.

Area Championships

Each Area association may host an Area Championship event in both short course (25m/winter) and long course (50m/summer) format. This is the premier event for each Area each season.

Beyond Area championships, Swimming NSW and Swimming Australia offer higher levels of competition such as Country Regionals, NSW Country Championships, NSW State Championships and Australian Age/Club Championships.

For information on all these types of competitions visit the Swimming NSW or Swimming Australia websites.

Social Events

It is important for Clubs to hold social events to build a team atmosphere and assist with team bonding as well as relaxing with Club friends. There are no limits as to what a Club could organise as a social event eg BBQ on the beach, movie night, ten pin bowling, pizza night, trivia competition.

Social events can even be set up through Swim Central so participants are able to RSVP and purchase products like tickets and merchandise.