New District Development Program hailed as a success

Swimming Victoria - 05/02/2018 Image (c) Swimming Australia

 Most of us know that great athletes don’t just happen. It takes both talent and commitment from swimmers and coaches. That is one of the reasons Swimming Victoria developed a District Development Program which was launched on Sunday 4 February 2018.

Hosted by Metro North District, the first session of the program held at Eltham College was an unqualified success. Led by expert coach Wayne Lawes, 41 swimmers and 20 coaches from more than 80% of the District’s clubs enjoyed an interactive session which focused on the skill development of turns and freestyle finishes.

Lawes is excited about the program. “The benefit of the District Development Program is about having the time to focus on skill development and learning to swim faster with no extra effort, simply by improving skills” he said.

First in the water were the 12-14 years old swimmers, followed by the 14 & overs. Both swimmers and coaches also sat in on an education session focusing on Energy Systems, Long Term Development and Planning Cycles.  

Ally White from Yarra Plenty was one coach in attendance who enjoyed the opportunity. “I picked up lots of cues for the kids and buzz words for them to respond too, it was great to hear different ways to explain technique” said Ally.  

The District Development Program underpins Swimming Victoria’s Performance & Development Pathways Program which provides an integrated pathway for athlete and coach development which is aligned to national standards and benchmarks.  

The aim of the District Development Program is to:

  1.    Develop the skills of State level swimmers into the skills of National Age level swimmers;
  2.    Open up the Performance and Development pathway to a broader base of swimmers and coaches.
  3.    Expose swimmers and coaches to new opportunities and experiences to further their development; and
  4.    Increase the development of swimmers at the District level which will, in tum, improve the quality and success of swimmers in the Performance Program.

A huge thankyou to Metro North, in particular Bob Oldfield, who coordinated the day with the local Clubs. Bob, who is the District Referee said he had been looking for a course like this for more than 12 months. “Swimming Victoria has come up with a course that has plenty of options and a first class presenter” he said.

Thank you also to Eltham College for the use of its fantastic facility.

In order to build on the success of the first session Metro North is planning two more days in March and April. Barwon South West will run its first session in May 2018.

All Districts are encouraged to host these days within their area. The program includes two pool sessions, one education session for swimmers & parents and one coach development workshop over half a day.

For more information or if your District would like to host a District Development Day, please contact Kirsty West at

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