Swimming Nelson Marlborough, in the interests of athlete development and retention, has adopted a policy on the use of certain swimwear known as “technical suits”.
The policy will prohibit the use of Technical Suits by all competitors 12 years of age and under at SNM sanctioned events, effective 1 January 2019.
With the adoption of this policy, all four regions in the South Island have the same policy, which will reduce the scope for confusion at South Island swim meets. Auckland and Waikato have adopted similar policies.
This follows the introduction of similar policies in Western Australia, Victoria along with several states in the USA and the Brazilian Swimming Federation, whose research indicates that much of the benefit of wearing a technical suit is not relevant to young swimmers who have yet to physically develop. Manufacturers do not design technical swim suits for young swimmers, rather they are designed for older athletes. One of the main benefits of wearing a technical suit is muscle compression, and children, who are not yet developed, are not impacted by this benefit. There is no documented evidence that supports any performance benefits of technical suits for athletes 12 years and under.
Technical suits can also be very expensive, and this may create a barrier to entry for families starting out or staying in swimming - there is enough financial pressure on parents without adding unnecessary purchases.
Swimming Nelson Marlborough’s Policy:
Effective 1 January 2019, swimmers aged 12 Years and under will no longer be permitted to wear Technical race suits at any competition sanctioned by Swimming Nelson Marlborough (SNM). This includes any regional, club or South Island meet held within the SNM region that is on the approved SNM calendar of swim meets.
The photo at right shows a traditional suit that will still be allowed for juniors. Note the raised stitching and fabric that is not compressive. The full policy and photos of suits that are allowed and banned can be found on the Swim Meets page of this website.
Posted: Wed 14 Nov 2018