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New Inclusive Swimwear Policy

We are excited to announce a new inclusive swimwear policy for domestic swimming competitions throughout New Zealand.

As part of our strategic direction to get more people swimming more often, we want to remove barriers to participation and create an environment where everyone:

- Feels welcome, safe, valued and celebrated in swimming

- Can participate in the role and at the level of their choice in swimming

- Can see diversity is reflected in swimming

To enable this to occur, the SNZ Board has recently adopted the Inclusive Swimwear Policy which can be viewed here.

Why do we need this policy?

We have identified and acknowledged that for some swimmers the standard competitive swimsuit options defined by FINA requirements for swimwear approval may not suit their individual needs and preferences. This may be attributed to a range of factors, such as a swimmer’s cultural or religious observations or their personal beliefs or identification.

We know that for some swimmers, a key barrier to participation has been a lack of appropriate competitive swimwear options. The implementation of the new Inclusive Swimwear Policy has been developed to accommodate and support swimmers’ individual needs and encourage participation and involvement in swimming competitions.

Swimming NZ’s Head of Participation & Events, Dale Johnson, said the implementation of the new policy was a big step in the right direction for removing barriers to participation. “We think this a big step forward to making our sport more accommodating for individual’s preferences and needs. We want swimming to be a sport that everyone feels welcome, safe and valued, and a sport where we cater for all swimmers.”

Key Points of the Policy:

• Any swimmer at all levels of competition in New Zealand can wear modified or alternate swimwear.

• All swimmers are eligible for a New Zealand Record if they wear approved modified or alternative swimwear. excluding fast suits.

• Swimmers may choose a swimwear style that covers additional body surface including the legs, arms and/or head.

• If approved within the policy, there is no limit to the number of pieces the swimwear ismade from and swimmers may wear additional layers over a traditional swimsuit.

• Swimwear which the Technical Director or Meet Referee believes would be capable of unfairly enhancing a swimmer’s performance will not be permitted.

• Swimwear which the Technical Director or Meet Referee believes would cause a safety risk will not be permitted.

• All swimmers seeking to achieve a World Record or international team selection will need to comply with the respective regulations from World Para Swimming and FINA.

Policy 012 will be implemented from 1 June 2022 following the education session held the night before.

What swimwear is allowable?

What swimwear is not allowable?

Technical Officials Education Session

Swimming New Zealand will be delivering a community education session for Technical Officials on the Inclusive Swimwear Policy to provide an overview of the intent of the Policy and to provide an opportunity for questions to be raised.

Session Details

Where: Zoom Meeting – click here to attend

(Meeting ID: 851 7878 6519 Passcode: 749186)

Date: Tuesday 31 May

Time: 7pm – 8pm

Facilitator: Dale Johnson, Head of Participation & Events at Swimming New Zealand


Enquiries or feedback about this policy including clarifications on acceptable swimwear may be directed to

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