Daventry Dolphins Swimming Club
Affiliated to East Midlands Region & Northamptonshire ASA
DDSC Race Suit Guidance Policy
In order to ensure our swimmers develop with best intentions and ethical qualities DDSC has decided to produce a set of guidelines on race suits for its members:
DDSC believe our swimmers need to learn to race for education, fun and improved technique in the early stages of development and it is, therefore, not necessary that they chase expensive external kit for finer margins in racing. Some FINA certified suits can cost up to £400 and we ,as a club, would really like parents to think carefully before paying out such a large amounts of money for a suit, especially for younger swimmers and those in the early stages of competitive swimming. DDSC has experience of well-meaning parents buying expensive suits for their children and then discovering that the suits do not fit correctly or have been bought at the wrong time of year, meaning that they are never used.
The psychological effects of wearing race suits can prove to be a double-edged sword. Whilst for a well-trained, experienced swimmer it can provide the peace of mind that they have fully prepared for that important race, a younger, less experienced swimmer can put on an expensive suit and be filled with the misplaced confidence that the suit will magically make up for missed training sessions and a not yet perfected technique. Yes, Michael Phelps, Adam Peaty and Katie Ledecky all won gold medals and broke world records wearing race suits, but were their performances solely determined by their race suits? In the words of the head coach:
'Do expensive ovens (racing suits) make the best meal (performance)? Or is it the ingredients (training) or how the food is prepared (lifestyle)? Without the latter two, ingredients and preparation, the oven is wasted.'
In light of all of this, DDSC would like to recommend that, until they gain qualifying times enabling them to compete at East Midland ASA Regional Championships, our age-group swimmers should only wear training suits/briefs, not FINA certified suits for all competitions. Swimmers cannot gain Regional Qualifying times until the year that they turn 11 (aged 11 by the 31st of December that year) so swimmers younger than this certainly have no need to be looking at buying racing suits. If you are unsure as to whether this applies to your swimmer, please speak to the head coach for further advice. DDSC would also prefer to see ALL swimmers wearing training suits for team galas (Arena League, Leicester League, Diddy League etc.).
DDSC have no issue with these age-group members wearing knee length costume/jammers as long as they are not FINA certified race suits. DDSC would also advise members to wear “endurance” brands to extend the life time of the garment. However, we are aware that they may not suit all members, so leave the choice of training costume to the swimmer and parent.
If any DDSC parent is unsure as to which suits (training or racing) are appropriate for their child and which are not, or would like some advice on good quality suits, we would ask them to speak to a member of the committee or coaching team at their earliest convenience.