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The National Plan for Teaching Swimming (NPTS) is an 'all-inclusive programme' which takes the non-swimmer from his or her first splash to developing confidence and competence in the water.

The national governing body for swimming, the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), has produced a national syllabus for Aquatics, in order to equip learn to swim providers with the training and tools to deliver a multi aquatic, multi skill programme.

A child develops their basic movement range during the ages of 5 years to 8 years for females, and 6 years to 9 years for males. During this stage of 'growing up', children should be taking part in activity that builds their Fundamental movement skills, with the emphasis being learning through fun.

The swimmer's 'journey through aquatics’ is a programme for developing early years water confidence, which is encouraged through sessions such as 'Parent and baby' and 'pre-school’ sessions. The emphasis is upon development of very basic motor skills and introduction to water and the swimming environment through fun and games. The 'ASA Duckling' Awards provide rewards appropriate for this section.

The next stage along the 'journey' takes a Swimmer through stages 1 - 7 of the National Plan for Teaching Swimming.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • STAGE 1

    Developing basic safety awareness, the ‘class’ scenario, basic movement skills and water confidence skills. Swimmers may use aids, e.g. arm bands, floats etc.

  • STAGE 2

    Developing safe entries to the water. Including jumping in, basic floating, travel and rotation, unaided to regain upright positions. Swimmers may use aids, e.g. arm bands, floats etc.

  • STAGE 3

    Developing safe entries including submersion, travel up to 10 metres on the front and back, progress rotation skills and water safety knowledge.

  • STAGE 4

    Developing the understanding of buoyancy through a range of skills, refining kicking technique for all strokes, and swimming 10 metres to a given standard as directed by the ASA.

  • STAGE 5

    Developing ‘waterman ship’ through sculling and treading water skills, and complete rotation, also performing all strokes to the given standard as directed by the ASA.

  • STAGE 6

    Developing effective swimming skills including coordinated breathing; developing the water safety aspects and understanding of preparation for exercise.

Achievements

The ASA (formerly known as the Amateur Swimming Association) has been in existence since 1869. The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England.

It was the first official association of swimming to be established in the world and today remains the English national governing body for swimming, diving, water polo, open water, and synchronised swimming.

For more information visit the ASA website.

ASA Awards Scheme

The Swimmer's 'journey through aquatics' following the National Plan for Teaching Swimming will result in the development of a wide range of skills. These skills, if you like, are a jigsaw of pieces, and when put together result in a competent, confident and safe Swimmer who has the skill base for then developing technique in a wide range of water based sports. Distance awards range from 5 metres to 5,000 metres.

BRONZE CHALLENGE

SECTION A

  • STAGE 1

    To swim 10m, followed by a surface dive into the water of at least full reach depth. Swim under the water for a distance of 5m.

  • STAGE 2

    Tread water in a vertical position for 3 minutes.

  • STAGE 3

    To scull head first on the back for 15m, with the feet at or near the surface of the water throughout.

SECTION B

  • STAGE 4

    To swim 400m using two strokes. A minimum of 100m is to be swum on each stroke.

  • STAGE 5

    To climb out at the deep end without assistance.

SILVER CHALLENGE

SECTION A

  • STAGE 1

    To plunge dive into the water of at least full reach depth.

  • STAGE 2

    Swim 100m in less than 3 minutes using any stroke.

  • STAGE 3

    To tread water for 2 minutes with one hand behind the back.

  • STAGE 4

    To swim 10m, followed immediately by two surface dives into water of full reach depth, one head first and one feet first bringing an object to the surface on each occasion.

  • STAGE 5

    To scull head first on the back for 10 m and return by sculling 10m feet first. A horizontal position must be maintained throughout.

SECTION B

  • STAGE 6

    Swim 800m using three of the following strokes; front crawl, back crawl, breastroke, butterfly for a minimum of 200m per stroke. A change of stroke may only occur every 100m. This swim is to be completed in twenty five minutes.

  • STAGE 7

    To climb out at the deep end without assistance.

GOLD CHALLENGE

SECTION A

  • STAGE 1

    To swim 100m in 2 minutes, 30 seconds or less, using two different strokes, 50m of each.

  • STAGE 2

    To tread water for 3 minutes with one hand above the head throughout. The arm raised may be changed no more than five times.

  • STAGE 3

    To scull head first on the back for 10m, move into a tucked position and turn through 360 degrees, keeping the head above the water. Return to the starting point by sculling feet first with feet at or near the surface throughout and the hands close to the hips.

  • STAGE 4

    To swim 10m perform a forward somersault; continue to swim in the same direction for 10m.

SECTION B

  • STAGE 5

    To swim 800m using three of the following strokes; front crawl, back crawl, breastroke, butterfly for a minimum of 200m per stroke. A change of stroke may only occur every 100m. This swim is to be completed in twenty five minutes.