Why Join A Swim Club?
Community Swim Clubs
If you live in a neighbourhood with a school or a community pool, then chances are you have the opportunity to join a local swim club and become involved in one of Australia’s most popular sports.
Swim clubs are not-for-profit organisations that are normally either run by volunteers (usually parents of swimmers) or operated through a swim school. Swim clubs organise and coordinate weekly meets (often in the evening), and provide a forum for swimmers to race against other swimmers of comparable ability. The emphasis of these races is not on winning the race, but rather on swimmers achieving their personal best (PB).
Many clubs award points for every PB recorded over the course of the season. A swim club season normally culminates in a Club Championship & Presentation Day where there are not only age group championships won, but there are also trophies awarded to swimmers in their age group who have accumulated the highest total of PB points over the season. In other words, you don’t have to be best swimmer to be a swim club champion, and the most improved swimmer is recognised as a champion in the same way as the fastest swimmer. Swim clubs are traditionally a place for kids doing swim classes or who are training with a squad to get some competition racing experience.
These days a local swim club offers a range of events to suit all ages and abilities
Just about anyone can join in the fun! The only prerequisite is the ability to swim (anyway and anyhow!) up to 12.5m. Swim clubs like the Morningside State School Flyers have children as young as 2 years old competing (with the assistance of a “noodle” and or a lifeguard in the pool depending on their ability and level of confidence).
What else does Swim Club have to offer? Involvement in a swim club provides a motivation for a swimmer taking swim classes or training with a squad to keep improving by giving them an opportunity to practise the techniques and skills learned in these classes/squads in a race situation. Participation in swim carnivals against other swim clubs adds another wonderful dimension to an association with a swim club. Joining a swim club is also a great way to make friends with other kids who attend local schools or the local swim school.
There is always plenty of social interaction on pool deck and in the marshalling area, and the bonding that takes place through the opportunity to support team-mates and to race in relay teams are wonderful additional benefits of a swim club involvement. Swimming is a proven form of exercise for staying healthy and active, and for improving overall fitness levels. Apart from the physical benefits, the competition available through a swim club provides a terrific opportunity to build the self esteem of a child.
No matter what the performances at the season start, improvement as the season progresses is almost guaranteed. Whether it be graduating from a 25m swimmer to a 50m swimmer, learning to dive from the blocks correctly, or bettering a personal best time; your child will feel great about doing their best and seeing improvement in their results. Swim club membership is comparatively inexpensive – a season fee is usually around $100 (which covers insurance and administration costs). Even including fit-out costs (swim suit, cap/goggles and towel is all you need), swimming stacks up well in terms of price against other sports – and this buys you a whole summer season of weekly club meets and other inter-club swim meets if you want.
Swim clubs provide a fun social environment for parents alike
All sports require parent volunteers, and a swim club is no different. By volunteering to assist in one of the many aspects of running a swim club meet (timekeeping, marshalling, canteen/BBQ), parents have the opportunity to meet other parents while at the same time supporting their child and their local swim club. So, get involved in your local Swim Club, and take advantage of all the things that competitive swimming at the grass roots level has to offer!
© 2010 Julia Ham/Hampton Swim School Pty Ltd