New Swimming Tasmania Rule Excludes Non-Citizens From Records, Relays

Tasmania, Australia’s smallest state, recently made swimming headlines with 16-year-old Ariarne Titmus becoming its first female national title winner in 40 years. The teen won the women’s 800m freestyle title at the 2017 Australian National Championships and later landed just off the podium in 4th place while competing in the 400m free event at the 2017 World Championships.

Titmus’ home state is in the news again, but this time due to a controversial new rule introduced by its swimming governing body. Per Swimming Tasmania, any swimmer not holding Australian citizenship will be deemed ineligible to claim Tasmanian titles or records posted at Tasmanian Championship events. Additionally, non-citizens are not allowed to compete in relay events at championship meets. The rule applies to Australian residents and paid members of state swimming associations and will take effect with the upcoming Tasmanian Short Course Championships.

Egyptian born swimmer Ahmed Awad, 18, is among those Aussie citizens who believe the rules are no good, as he spoke with the local news recently.

“I think the new rules are foolish and unreasonable” he said. “The visitor status imposes limitations on swimmers who are eager to compete and are dedicated to their craft.

“Since these swimmers are permanent residents of Australia, it is nonsensical to deem them as visitors”.

The club for whom Awad competes made no qualms voicing its opinion on the matter on its Facebook page. When announcing its relay line-ups, the Hobart Power Aquatic page stated the following,

Note: as a result of new ridiculous Swimming Tasmania swim meet rules in relation to Visitor classifications…Yanan will swim in B teams and these teams will not be eligible for medals…

Why are they ridiculous rules? Well, its like the great Citizenship debacle in parliament…on a much lower level…non Australian citizens are classified as visitors under the new Swimming Tasmania swim rules. This is despite Swimming Tasmania being queried and having no audit mechanism for who is a citizen and who is not…apparently its a guessing contest. Therefore there is no way of ensuring that there is a consistent approach to dealing with non australian citizens. We even have the situation where long standing Tasmanian records have been held by non australian sure there are plenty of other non australian citizens hidden away in the ranks…our advice is if any official asks your citizenship status…reply that you are pretty sure you are Australian…

Just stupid…

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5 years ago

Fun fact . I think citizenship would show up on the passport control when we enter Tassie . Some ppl obviously fail this & other misdemeanors & sent to the fruit & vegetable bin . Ive seen them .

It is there they will be told they cannot win Tasmanian Swim titles or compete in relays .

5 years ago

No relay team from tasmania ever sets records!

5 years ago

Queensland has had these rules forever. It is no big deal. Perfectly reasonable.

Reply to  J O
5 years ago

Don’t they have this at nationals too?

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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