Swim England releases position statement on process of weighing athletes

Swim England has released guidance on the practice of weighing athletes within aquatic sports.

The recommendation from the national governing body is that individuals under the age of 18 should not be weighed unless they are on a nationally supported pathway.

This guidance is applicable to athletes within all aquatic disciplines including swimming, para-swimming, water polo, artistic swimming and diving.

It is designed to prevent potential areas of concern, such as psychological distress, which may occur as a result of athletes being tested and monitored in this way.

Swim England recognise that in the past, coaches may have carried out tests of this nature. This guidance illustrates our position on this topic now and therefore does not aim to undermine past practices.

Diane Elliot, Swim England sport science and medicine manager, said: “This is an important piece of work that has been carefully produced in consultation with a number of key specialists as well as British Swimming, Swim Wales and Scottish Swimming.

“We hope that this document provides clarity to clubs and members, as well as adequately supporting our recommendation as the national governing body.

George Wood, sport development director at Swim England said: “As the national governing body, we see no substantial advantages to weighing young athletes at club level and given the potential negative impacts, we would advise that height is used as a means of tracking an athletes’ growth.

“We advocate athletes learn and understand the benefits of performance nutrition in their pursuit of optimising their progress.

“This document outlines the best guidance and potential risks of weighing young athletes as well as providing key facts on the topic.”

A ‘Connecting with Coaches’ workshop on the subject of weighing athletes will be held on 7 December. Registration closes on 1 December and can be booked here.

You can access the guidance document by clicking here.