Learn to Swim

A guide to the Learn to Swim Programme

Competitive Swimming Performance Awards

All Awards

Competitive Swimming Performance Awards have been developed in conjunction with the British Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association, and can be achieved in competition or organised time trials held at schools or swimming clubs.

Swimmers attempting these awards should have achieved the standards of the Competitive Start Award first. However, it is possible to complete the Competitive Swimming Performance Awards with a start from the side of the pool into the deep end.

Competitive Swimming Performance Awards can be secured in Breaststroke, Butterfly, Front Crawl, Backstroke, and Individual Medley for Sprint, Middle Distance, or Distance.

Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Awards are available depending on times taken to complete the relevant distances.

For pool, distance, stroke and times required to achieve awards click here.

Competitive Swimming Performance Awards and consistency

Swimmers will need good skills in starts, strokes, turns and finishes of the relevant stroke before they are asked to swim quickly.

Coaches or teachers will not rush into giving these awards simply because a swimmer completes the times. Instead the focus is on holding consistency with technique.

If a coach is not happy with a swimmer’s technique then they will encourage the swimmer to try for relevant Competitive Swimming Performance Awards again in a few weeks’ time.

Platinum awards are normally used by clubs and squads as improvement indicators for group progressions.

General Conditions for Competitive Swimming Awards

  • For Sprint Awards one time standard is used for all pools.
  • For the Middle Distance and Distance Awards, separate time standards are given for both short course (less than 50 yards) and long course (50 yards, 50 metres) pools.
  • Throughout the tests the requirements of ASA Rules must be met.