Awhile back I wrote a post commenting on parents & their young athletes standing in line to buy ‘racing suits’ at a local swim store and questioning the entire point of it all? Young swimmers who barely have a handle on the technique of each stroke, who barely have a handle on racing skills such as proper block dive starts, flip turns and underwater dolphin kick lining up to buy a ‘racing suit’ in hopes that that will help them be faster. I questioned the point in it all and it wasn’t too long after that that I received an email from Team Aquatic stating that they were alerted to my comments (via Swimming Canada/Swim Ontario) stating that they do not support our position.
That Team Aquatic – a business that sells racing suits – opposed my comments… no surprise there, its a business after all with one goal… sell.
But, that Swimming Canada & Swim Ontario opposed my comments… should be a surprise, but really… why would it be based on the countless posts which have demonstrated time and time again that the well-being of swimmers is the last thing on the minds of either of these two organizations.
Meanwhile in other parts of the world of swimming…
HAVE WE SEEN THE LAST OF THE 12 & UNDER TECH SUIT ERA?
An article at swimswam.com stating that back “in September 2018, USA Swimming’s House of Delegates passed a ban on the use of tech suits by swimmers aged 12 & under at most meets, set to take effect in September 2020.
What does Swimming Canada/Swim Ontario do?
Instead of considering the points made regarding the appropriateness of young athletes being encouraged to obtain racing suits, and parents having to shell out insane amounts of money for a suit that their young athlete will likely grow out of in a matter of months if not weeks…. no, Swimming Canada/Swim Ontario take their typical retaliative approach and attempt to ‘silence’ anyone that even remotely questions their policies, their procedures, hence ‘threatens’ their reputation of being all-knowing and always right when it comes to the sport of swimming.
The issue is not with free enterprise and whether or not a business sells a product or has the right to sell a product, the issue is that Swimming Canada/Swim Ontario instead of seeking to investigate whether its even appropriate for young athletes to be encouraged or to rely on racing suits (ahead of developing proper swimming technique), instead reveals what is their true priority: their bottom line and the bottom line of their sponsors even if it comes at the cost of the well-being of children.
Meanwhile, in the land of the free and home of the brave where free enterprise is celebrated far more widely than here in the far north, USA Swimming has the backbone to do what is right: ban the use of racing suits for the majority of U12 athletes.
Which brings me back to the same point I’ve been making about Swim Canada/Swim Ontario for years… these are two organizations that have steered so far off course from the focus of making the sport of swimming accessible, appropriate and safe for all Canadians that the well-being of our young swimmers has been completely lost. Instead the obsession is revenue, profit, and sponsorship arrangements… basically money, money, money.
If it has to come at the cost of the well-being of Canadian children…so be it.
And that is how we end up with the state of swimming being as it is in Canada.