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Amended SNZ Records Policy - March 2021


At the December 2020 Swimming New Zealand Board meeting the following two changes to the SNZ Policy for future New Zealand Records were approved:

  1. To remove all 12 & under national records.
  2. To introduce 4 x 50 metre short course relay records.

The rationale for removing the recognition of 12 years and under national records.

In alignment with the Sport NZ Balance is Better philosophy linked below, we are focusing on Tamariki and the enjoyment of participating in Sport. We are aiming to put more emphasis on fun, teamwork and skill development whilst steering away from early specialisation and replicating senior type training for very young athletes.

The Sport NZ Information tells us that there are three myths in youth sport that have been identified through research and are supported by evidence. The Balance is Better philosophy pushes back against these myths to stress that:

  1. Childhood success is not a reliable predictor of future success.
  2. Identifying athletes early and specialising early is taking its toll on young people.
  3. A focus on winning rather than development is a problem for young people, because it can have unintended consequences on their wellbeing and affect their motivation to take part.


More information is here:



The new Swimming New Zealand competitive calendar will come into effect later in 2021. The youngest age at national events is now 13 years (Secondary Schools, Division II and NAGS) There are no national meets for the 12 & under. The Junior Festival is delivered across 4 different venues around the country providing 12 and under swimmers an opportunity to participate in a fun and engaging event in their local zone.

The launch of the new XLR8 Programme in 2021 will assist with the development of multi skilled and multi stroke young athletes. This will give the young athletes a broader platform in which to start their long involvement in Swimming.

The rationale for introducing the 4 x 50m short course relay records.

The events are part of the National Short Course and the FINA World Short Course Championship programmes. This will recognise any records achieved and bring SNZ into line with FINA World Records.

Read the full policy here.