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Final Recommendations Announced From The Competition Review

Announcement of the Final Recommendations from the Competition Review

We are thrilled to announce the final recommendations of the Competition Review that has taken place over the past 8 months.

As part of this process, the Working Group is grateful to the community who reviewed the proposal documents and submitted responses during the two opportunities for community feedback, where 174 and 185 responses were received respectively.

The Working Group considered both sets of community feedback when presenting their final recommendations, which have been fully endorsed by the Swimming NZ board.

There are 9 final recommendations, which include updates to 6 of the 8 initially proposed recommendations following community feedback, with an additional recommendation added as well.

A top line overview of the final recommendations are:

  1. Articulate a competition pathway

  2. Updated timing of Swimming NZ competitions

  3. Updated timing of major regional championships

  4. Recommendation for meet types at club and foundation levels

  5. Setting meet formats

  6. Updates to Meet Approval Policy

  7. Updates to Div II

  8. Updates to Junior Festivals

  9. Opportunities for open water competitions

We encourage everyone to read the final recommendations report to understand the process of the Competition Review over the past 8 months, the rationale for each recommendation and what was updated from the initial proposal following community feedback.

Chair of the Competition Review Working Group & SNZ's Head of Participation, Competitions & Engagement, Dale Johnson, noted the challenges involved with catering for all of the feedback received.

"We acknowledge that it was nearly impossible to cater for all viewpoints when putting together the final recommendations given that some of the feedback contradicted each other. However, the Working Group worked through the feedback diligently to provide solutions for the issues and challenges identified during the process as well as from the feedback received. The whole Working Group is fully supportive of the final recommendations, believing these to be the best recommendations for the continual growth of swimming competitions across the country."

Johnson noted how grateful the Working Group was for the contributions from across the community.

"We'd like to thank each of the members of our swimming community who reviewed the proposal documents and submitted responses during the two opportunities for community feedback. Receiving 174 and 185 responses respectively, this is a significant increase on the 32 responses within the 2020 review and your feedback played a vital role during the review."

Johnson also wanted to acknowledge the members of the Working Group for their contributions.

"I'd like to thank each of the members of the Working Group for their contributions throughout the process over the past 8 months. Each member provided valuable and considered insights and perspectives, respectfully debated and considered all feedback. The Working Group worked well together to land on the final recommendations that will continue moving our competitions forward as a sport across the country."

The final recommendations from the Competition Review now play an integral part in confirming the competition calendar for the coming years. We look forward to working with the community to continue providing quality and engaging competitions across the country.

Next Steps

Following the final recommendations being endorsed by the Swimming NZ board, work has progressed on bring these recommendations to life. A brief overview of the next steps are:

  • Swimming NZ is currently finalising the competition calendar for 2025, which will be announced by Friday 28 June

  • Swimming NZ is working with the regions to align their competition calendars across the country, including the timing of major regional championships

  • Swimming NZ will update the Meet Approval Policy to reflect recommendation 6

  • We ask clubs and regions to consider the meet types offered in their next competition calendar, particularly noting recommendation 4 and aligning the calendar

  • Swimming NZ will develop a webpage for the community to access the final report, competition pathway and calendar structure overview

Questions You May Ask

1. When will the next Apollo Projects Junior Festivals be held?

The next festivals will be aligned with the new Competition Review, meaning these will be held in early March 2025. More details about the dates and venues will be confirmed as the calendar is announced in later June.

2. When will the calendar be finalised?

The competition calendar for 2025 is being finalised currently, which will be announced by Friday 28 June.

3. Why have there been changes made to Div II?

We encourage you to read the rationale provided in the final recommendations report for greater context of the decision upon Div II - please see recommendation 7.

4. When will the recommendations be implemented by?

The majority of the recommendations will be implemented straight away as part of finalising the competition calendar for 2025. Work will be completed on updating the Meet Approval Policy over the coming weeks, ahead of competitions being eligible to be held as "officiated meets" if they meet the Meet Approval Policy from 1 July 2024.

5. How can we learn more about the final recommendations?

Outside of reading the final recommendations report in detail, those who wish to learn more about the recommendations can join a Zoom presentation that will be offered on Wednesday 5 June at 7pm.

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