Our Swimming Community - February edition

Our Swimming Community - February

Major event schedule announced

Following the announcement of the 2018-20 event schedule, elite swimming will soon be more accessible than ever. With successful bids coming from all over Australia more people will get the chance to see the stars of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team LIVE in their hometowns.
To find out where to see the stars of swimming near you from now to 2020, click here!

Australia Swims

This January, thousands of passionate Australian swimmers took to the water to swim a virtual lap of Australia. A total of 39,113.08km was swum, exceeding the 35,855km target. A special mention to participants from Ormeau Hills, QLD, for achieving the furthest cumulative distance.

The 2017 Year in Review

It was another big year in our sport. We have increasing membership numbers, great stories from our volunteer technical officials (TOs), exciting changes to our major events, and terrific performances on the world stage.
You can read all about it in our Year in Review 2017 here!

Club Land:

NSW Youth Advisory Panel - keeping teenagers in our sport

Swimming NSW’s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) held their inaugural Youth Leadership Camp in October. 49 swimmers from 30 NSW clubs participated in team building, public speaking and event management activities, learned swimming specific leadership skills through Optus Junior Dolphin coaching, and received TO training. We look forward to having some participants join the YAP. Congratulations to the YAP team members who planned and delivered the leadership sessions!


Ideas to retain teenagers in swimming include a Saturday summer Twilight Race Party (involving races, relays and a pool party) and 4 additional Leadership Camps. Read more about the Youth Leadership Camp Here!

Complete our new quick and easy nomination form to tell us what great things your club is doing. Finalists from each State will be awarded $500 and profiled by our PR agency. The national winner will receive $2000 and an invitation to attend our Gala Dinner Awards night.  
Our Reigning Club of the Year, Bunbury SC, delivered an array of initiatives including - recruitment events which saw membership grow by 50%, improved media relations and communication channels, and securing new sponsors - that enabled the club to provide a positive, supportive, and sustainable environment for their swimmers. Check out the full video here!
Get your nominations in from January to June. Each month, one club will be profiled on our website, in our newsletter and via our social pipes. 

Our Local Legends award relaunches

Complete our quick and easy nomination form to tell us what one of your club stalwarts has been doing for our sport. Every nomination will feature on the Swimming Australia website. State finalists will receive a memento and be profiled by our PR agency. The national winner will be awarded $1000 and an invitation to attend Swimming Australia’s Gala Awards night.
Reigning National Local Legend, Tracey Rowell, is Swimming Tasmania’s State TO lead. Tracey has spent hours volunteering to assist new TO’s to learn the basics of becoming a TO as well as upskilling current TO’s. Her new and improved protocols have led to a fluent and free flowing pool deck at events across Tasmania.
Nominations are that simple! Get your nominations in from January through June. 


FINA Open Water School to be hosted after the SAL Open Water Championships

Swimming Australia is hosting a FINA Open Water School for TOs 29-30 January 2018 at Brighton Beach SA.  30 TOs along with international officials will experience 2 days of interactive workshops.  This is a valuable opportunity for TOs to develop their open water skills or be considered for FINA lists.  Our partners are welcome to attend the workshop also.  

More development opportunities at the CommGames Trials on the Gold Coast

GOLDOC and Swimming Australia will be running a TO workshop on March 4th; the morning session will be specifically for GOLDOC appointed TOs, and the afternoon will be open to all TOs and any state partners.  Let us know if you’re interested in attending by contacting officiating@swimming.org.au.

Finding TOOTY!

Help us find our Technical Official of the Year for 2018!

Complete our new quick and easy nomination form to share all the great things an official has done at a local, state, or international level to officiating@swimming.org.au. Finalists, selected from each State, will receive a memento and be profiled by our PR agency. The national winner will receive $1000 and an invitation to attend Swimming Australia’s Gala Awards night.
Reigning Roger Smith TO of the Year, Damian Van de Berg from Cobram SC in Victoria, contributed enormously during 2016-17 by officiating nationally and internationally at destinations including Fiji, Auckland and Hong Kong. Damian is a member of the Swimming Victoria Technical Swimming Committee, a Swimming Victoria Board member, Chair of the TSC Recruitment and Retention working group, and is involved in official mentoring. He was recently listed as a FINA OWS referee until 2020.

Nominations are that easy! Get your nominations in from January through June.


Congratulations to the 3 successful board nominees Neal Betram, Wendy Holtom and Jane Noake who will join the National Board of Management for 2018.

Optus Junior Dolphins

What happened in 2017

The Optus Junior Dolphins became nationally available during 2017, resulting in record growth of 15,841 participants across 917 clubs. Additional product elements included:
  • Over 37,000 Primary School students involved in Optus Junior Dolphin inspired swimming lessons as part of the federal governments Sporting Schools program.
  • An Optus Junior Dolphins participant, Ayanna, winning the opportunity to name our dolphin mascot Yampu, the Kaurna Peoples, (traditional owners of Adelaide), word for Dolphin.
  • Over 1,000 Optus Junior Dolphins taking part in a once in a lifetime experience at State and National events; performing roles as medal presenters, basket carriers and participating in clinics.
  • Over a dozen Come & Try events with Australian Dolphins Swim Team members.

Coming up in 2018

Some 2018 refinements to the Optus Junior Dolphins include:
  • Clearer product offerings to make it easier for product deliverers and parents when deciding what they would like their children to take part in.
  • A move away from a strict curriculum resource to fun game-based learning ideas in line with the Australian Sports Commissions Play for Life learning philosophy.
  • Improved pack distribution and processes ensuring a timely and accurate delivery process.
  • Introduction of the Optus Splash App that includes the capability to:
    • Reward kids for their swimming with digital notifications and their own digital trophy room.
    • Send automatic messages to parents to increase engagement in the program.
    • Demonstrate the child’s progress and future opportunities to support retention.
    • Digital interaction between the Australian Dolphins Swim Team and Optus Junior Dolphins.

Thank you!

A very big thankyou to all our club volunteers who have supported the initial year of the national roll out. Without your support we wouldn’t have had the impact mentioned above. We look forward to evolving the Optus Junior Dolphins product to ensure the sport has a sustainable and healthy future.

What’s coming up in February and March…

Come along to the Commonwealth Game’s trials on the Gold Coast between 28 Feb - 3 March. See the stars, spend time in Centre Lane, and check out the Optus Junior Dolphins, JX clinics and relays.


Olympic big guns v ‘Gen Next’ in 200m freestyle shoot out

Olympic big guns v ‘Gen Next’ ...

Our team out and about

Dolphin spotting in Europe...