Swimming WA, the company behind the largest and most successful Open Water Swimming Series, is set to welcome the Open Water Swimming (OWS) Secondary Schools Championships. This innovative competition aims to provide a platform for high school students to compete in open water, breaking away from the conventional confines of competitive pool swimming.
The roots of long-distance swimming in Western Australia trace back to the early 1900s with the iconic Perth Swim Thru. However, it wasn’t until 1991, at the FINA World Championships, that the sport gained widespread popularity, with Perth’s own Shelley Taylor-Smith clinching gold for Australia. Fast forward to 2006, Swimming WA initiated the Open Water Swimming Series. What started with four events and over seven hundred entries have evolved into a massive series across ten locations, boosting six thousand entries and an average of six hundred participants per swim.
Recognising the need to diversify and cater to the next generation, Swimming WA is now launching the OWS Secondary Schools Championships. Open to all secondary schools, this competition aims to provide an avenue for students who may not possess the traditional strength of pool swimming. The organisation engaged with metropolitan Private, Independent, and Public Secondary Schools, gauging the interest of Head of Learning areas in creating a unique weekday Open Water School Championships during term 4. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
This event is set to be the first of its kind in Australia, providing an equal playing field for participants from various water sports, including surf lifesaving, water polo, triathlon, and even football players with a liking for open water speed.
Swimming WA anticipates the participation of approximately 60 schools from metropolitan areas, with a few regional schools joining the ranks. This translates to an estimated 600 swimmers gearing up for the OWS Secondary Schools Championships. Swimming WA is thrilled to have the WA Salt Group sponsoring the Championships. The event is scheduled to take place at Coogee Beach on Saturday, 24 November 2023.