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What we do > Sports > Our sports > Swimming > Open Water Swimming

Open water swimming

Special Olympics New Zealand is expanding its offering of water sports to include open water swimming to our list of sanctioned sports.

Open water swimming debuted at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece as a demonstration sport. Events involve swimming in rivers, lakes or the ocean, where deep water, lack of lane markings, waves, currents, wind and other natural elements test the swimmer.

Special Olympics New Zealand athletes with a passion for this type of adventure will now be able to compete in Club and regional events this summer.

Over the past few years Special Olympics New Zealand athletes have excelled in mainstream open water swimming events including the State Ocean Swim Series.

Internationally open water swimming is becoming very popular within the Special Olympics movement with Special Olympics Incorporated sponsoring the 'Training for Sports Performance' Workshop for Open Water Swimming in Singapore later this year. Our very own Jane Logan of Special Olympics Papakura will represent New Zealand at the workshop.

Jane has been involved with swim coaching for over 20 years and has been instrumental in the success of many of our open water swimming athletes, in particular Sam Muir-James (pictured above).

If you would like to know more about this sport please contact your local Club, coach resources and rules can be downloaded below.

Coach resources:

Open water swimming coaching guide
Open water rules (2014)
Planning a training season
Teaching open water swimming skills

Visit the Special Olympics Incorporated's website for further resources.

For more information about open water swimming please contact:

Mike Ryan

National Sports and Coaching Director

+64 6 350 2957
+64 27 548 4824

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