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Can My Child Compete In Artistic Swimming?

30 October 2023

Artistic swimming is a growing sport in the UK, with more and more schools and clubs offering it as an opportunity for children to compete. There are competitions at all levels, from local to national and even international, with the ultimate goal being to swim at the Olympics or world championships. Historically, top level competitions were only open to girls and women, however this is changing, with the upcoming Paris Olympics including men for the first time.  

School and club competitions

The first step in getting involved in artistic swimming is to find a club or school that offers lessons. Within the club, there are usually end-of-year competitions for students to showcase their skills. If your child is part of a team at school or a local pool, they will likely have the opportunity to compete at this level. Once you have found a club or school you're interested in, you can contact them to find out more about their programme and how to join. 

Local competitions

Local competitions are usually the next step in artistic swimming for most children. These events tend to be open to kids of all ages and abilities and are a great way to learn more about the sport without too much pressure. To find a local competition near you, check with your child’s coach or ask other parents in the artistic swimming community. 

Regional competitions

Regional competitions are held throughout the UK and are open to all swimmers who meet the qualifying standards. There are grades which children will need to have achieved in order to take part in particular events. These competitions are more serious and are also a great way to qualify for national competitions. If your child has high ambitions, winning a regional competition can put their team on the path to becoming national champions. You can find a list of regional competitions on the Swim England website or the national swimming programme in your country.

National and International Competitions

The highest level of competition in artistic swimming is the national and international levels. These competitions are only open to swimmers who have shown exceptional ability and have qualified through regional competition. Swimmers who compete at this level usually aim to represent their country at the Olympic Games or World Championships and often have sponsorships and support from national governing bodies.

Olympics and World Championships

The ultimate goal for most swimmers is to represent their country at the Olympic Games or World Championships. To be eligible for these prestigious events, athletes must be chosen by their national governing body. Swimmers who are selected to compete at these events have usually proven themselves to be among the best in the world and have worked extremely hard to get to this level.

Artistic swimming is a great way for children to stay active while competing at various levels, from local to national and even international. If your child is interested in getting involved in this growing sport, many opportunities are available across the UK. Your child could one day represent their country at the Olympic Games or World Championships with hard work and dedication.

Photo by cottonbro studio

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