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What age should swimmers begin competing in carnivals?


Hi, l have a 9 year old daughter who has done 2 seasons of swimming lessons.

5 weeks ago she started squad training where she has been encouraged to swim “fast”, something that she has never done. Her first 50m freestyle race she swam 59 sec. 4 weeks later she is down to 45 sec.

Question is…  ls now a good time to  encourage her to start swimming at carnivals or is it better to wait until her times improve some more before she competes?

Thanks Shandyn


Hi Shandyn,

Yes, now is a great time for your daughter to start swimming at swim carnivals.

Once a swimmer moves into a squad (where they are swimming more than one lap at a time) and if they show an interest in swimming in some races, then encourage them to take part in the carnivals.  By taking part in these swim meets, they will learn a lot about themselves, their swimming ability and what they need to work on to improve.

By taking part in swim carnivals each month, your daughter will develop her racing skills over time and develop experience that will be very valuable as she gets older.  If you wait until she is older it will be more difficult for her to gain these racing skills.

As far as the best age to begin competing in swimming carnivals, whilst any age is fine, children who gain experience and learn the basics of racing between the ages of 8 and 11 years are off to a good start as competitive swimmers.



The Swimming Expert


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