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Purposeful Racing Opportunities and SNZ Event Calendar

Purposeful Racing Opportunities & SNZ Event Calendar

Tena koutou katoa,

" We have a few updates to provide regarding the competition pathway overview and changes to SNZ events from 2023. We are also excited to announce the dates and venues for the 2023 and 2024 SNZ Event Calendar. Please take the time to read through each update as they link together from 1 to 5.

1. Competition Pathway Overview

As part of the Swimming NZ Event Calendar announcement, we wanted to provide a reminder of the competition pathways offered throughout New Zealand, and how this has shaped the 2023 calendar.

The purpose of the competition pathway is to remind our swimming community of the different levels of competitions available in New Zealand, and how this provides opportunities to progress to the next level of competitions once additional experience and skills have been achieved. The pathway is a reminder of which competitions are significant racing opportunities for more competitive swimming, and which are ones are tailored toward growing your skills at development meets, so that purposeful racing opportunities continue to be provided for each level of swimmer.

A brief reminder of the competition pathway is outlined below to display the progression levels provided within competitive swimming:

Club Level

Meet Options: Club Nights, Club Champs, All In Meets, Time Trials, Have A Go Meets

Focus: Fun, regular and local participation celebrating PBs and valuable race practice to develop skills

Frequency: Regular

Duration: 1-2 hours

Meet Type: Development Meets

Click here to learn more about development meets requirements

Inter Club Level

Meet Options: Duel Meets, Leagues, Inter Club Meets, Skins & Relay Competitions

Focus: Opportunity to host local fun racing opportunities with neighbouring clubs. These can also include team racing for points, relay opportunities and other concepts, whilst also serving as valuable race practice to further develop skills

Frequency: Regular

Duration: 1-2 hours

Meet Type: Development Meets

Click here to learn more about development meets requirements

Regional Level

Meet Options: Regional Champs, Designated Meets

Focus: These competitions provide a significant racing opportunity to crown the regional champion and/or qualify for national championships. These competitions provide scope for greater participation at significant racing opportunities than national championships, as part of swimmer development. Please note: every designated meet doesn’t need to offer every event

Frequency: 10 per year, plus regional champs nearing end of the training cycle

Session Duration: 2-3 hours

Meet Type: Designated Meets

Zonal Level

Meets: Div II Zonal, Zonal Champs*

Focus: These competitions provide a significant racing opportunity against swimmers within the neighbouring regions. These competitions are also a stepping stone to national level for those aspiring to reach the national level moving forward.

Sessions Duration: 2.5-3.5 hours

Meet Type: Designated Meets

*We acknowledge that not all zones offer a Zonal Championships – eg: South Island Short Course Championships

National Level

Meets: NZ Open Water, NZ Champs, NAGS, NZ Secondary Schools, NZ Short Course

Focus: These competitions are the pinnacle significant racing opportunities for swimmers within NZ. These competitions are held to crown the national champion in each event and provide opportunities to qualify for international competitions.

Sessions Duration: 2.5-3.5 hours

Meet Type: Designated Meets

International Level

Meets: FINA Events, World Para Swimming Events, Olympics & Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, Targeted Performance Meets

Focus: Opportunities for swimmers selected to represent New Zealand on the international stage at pinnacle competitions, and preparation for pinnacle competitions.

2. Explaining the Changes for the Division II Swimming Competition

From 2023, following discussions with the Events Advisory Committee and regions, the decision has been made to improve the format of the Division II Swimming Competition. The calendar will offer a Division II Zonal Competition held in 4 locations on the same weekend and will be held across 3 days. The competition will be open for swimmers aged 13 and over who have not qualified for NZ Champs or NAGS, rather than just the 13 – 18 years of recent years.

This decision has been made following these considerations:

  • Increase the opportunity for participation at the tier below national level competitions. When Division II has been held in Dunedin the past few years, we have hosted 529 swimmers in 2019, 496 in 2021 and 334 in 2022 respectively. By offering this competition closer to home, we hope to provide more participants a significant racing opportunity. This significant racing opportunity is better suited as a stepping stone for those aspiring to swimming at National Championships moving forward at the zonal level, whilst also catering for greater participation across the country. We have successfully implemented the same Zonal concept when changing the Junior Festival to be held across 4 zones in previous years. In 2016, the Junior Championships were held in 1 location for 489 swimmers, whereas this increased to 1234 the following year when held in 4 zones. This change has provided more opportunities for participants to be involved over the past 5 years.

  • From feedback received from working groups and surveys over the past 12 months, the most common barriers to participation we hear are cost and length of sessions and/or competitions. By shifting the competition to be held closer to home within zones and shortening the length of the competition, we have improved the offering to reduce the costs of participating at the event by having less nights of accommodation and reduced travel costs due to being closer to home.

  • We have opened opportunities for 19 years and older to race at the Division II Zonal Competition to provide the same opportunity for all ages 13 and over. We have identified a large drop off in participation for swimmers in their late teens, with only 1% of club swimmers and 6% of competitive swimmers being 19+. By offering an opportunity for swimmers not quite at the NZ Swimming Championship level, we are hoping to encourage swimmers incentive and a significant racing opportunity that helps inspire them to stay in the sport as a young adult. This means that swimmers of all ages above 13 have this opportunity.

  • The NZ Secondary School Swimming Championships offer a similar short course competition only 2 months later for the same age bracket (rangatahi). NZ Secondary Schools caters for participation and developing swimmer opportunities through relays and 50m races whilst catering for the more competitive swimmers at the same competition through a different event schedule at the national level. In 2023, the competition will be further improved to best