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An ‘exciting new concept’ for swimmers to pit themselves against other swimmers from across the country without leaving their home pool has been officially launched by Swim England. Level X Racing gives club swimmers the opportunity to take part in a series of time-trials using all strokes at varying distances, the times from which can be submitted to Swim England rankings.

Tom Baster, chairperson of the Swim England Swimming Leadership Group, said the initial feedback from the pilot events staged had been well received: “We know our clubs and members that are back in the water have missed taking part in galas and events due to the coronavirus pandemic. Level X Racing is a fun opportunity for them to practice some racing skills in the absence of those club, county, regional and national events. The feedback we have had so far from the test sessions has been extremely encouraging. Everyone who has taken part has loved the chance to test themselves against their team-mates and we hope clubs across the country will engage with this exciting new concept.”

The first phase of Level X Racing begins on 23 October with staggered submission times to enable swimmers to build up their training to the longer distance events. A second phase of the competition will be held in 2021 in the hope more clubs would be able to take part. After each distance is completed, the quickest swimmers in each age group will feature in a national leader board published across Swim England’s website and social media channels. The first leader board will be all 50m and 100m swims across all strokes, together with 100m Individual Medley. Times must be submitted to rankings by 24 November and leader boards will then be published on 30 November.

George Wood, Swim England Sport Development Director, said that leader boards for all ages, as well as para swimmers and hearing-impaired swimmers, would make Level X accessible for everyone: “We appreciate that not all our clubs are back in the water due to pools still being closed and we are doing all we can to try and rectify that situation. The leader boards add an extra dimension to these time trials that all swimmers will have been missing this year. We hope the introduction of the leader boards will encourage even more to get involved. We’re looking forward to seeing Level X Racing and the leader boards develop, and hearing stories from clubs across the country.”

Swimmers wanting to take part in Level X Racing must be a Swim England Category 2 member in order to participate. To encourage as many swimmers as possible to get involved, current Category 1 members who take part in Level X will be automatically upgraded free of charge. This temporary Category 2 membership will only be valid until 31 December 2020.

Find out the full information on Level X Racing here.

Issued 15 October 2020