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Regional Athlete Development Squad Programme

Throughout the region our athletes are working hard in and out of the pool to achieve their goals. Their weeks are filled with extensive hours of training, whilst weekends are often spent competing at meets in order to qualify for Regional, Zonal and National competitions, or whatever goals they may have.


Swimming Otago is committed to helping our athletes achieve their goals - this is why we established the Regional Athlete Development Squad (RADS) Programme.



We understand that working towards your goals can often be overwhelming - sometimes it is a struggle to even work out what your goal should be! This is where our Regional Athlete Development Squad Programme comes in. Our expert team of coaches will guide you through any concerns you may have, providing you with the necessary tools to unlock your fullest potential.


How does the programme work? How do I become part of the programme?

Eligibility Criteria for RADS Programme:

  • Athlete must be a current financially registered club or competitive member, within the Swimming NZ database, and affiliated to a Swimming Otago member club.
  • Athlete must be aged 11-13 years as at 30 June.
  • Athlete must have obtained a minimum of 2000* XLR8 points during the season (1 July - 30 June, each year).

Selected athletes will be announced in July of each year.

* There is the possibility for athletes to gain wildcard selection, however they must meet at least points 1 and 2 of the eligibility criteria above.


What are XLR8 points? How do I earn them?

XLR8 is a motivational programme originally developed by Swimming New Zealand, where swimmers score points across a combination of events and are ranked nationally on their performances. XLR8 recognises versatility and all-round ability, rewarding correct application of the processes necessary for long term athlete development.

Points are gained through competing. Racing a range of events is recommended because the XLR8 programme automatically chooses your best four scoring races to give you the maximum point combination possible.

The four event combination is made up from:

  1. One DISTANCE freestyle event - the distance varies with age
  2. One INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY event - the distance varies with age
  3. One 200m FORM event - 200m Backstroke, Breaststroke, or Butterfly
  4. One OTHER event - the next best event, not used in events 1, 2, or 3


12 YEARS 400M or 800M 200M or 400M BACK or BREAST or FLY NEXT BEST EVENT
13 YEARS 400M or 800M or 1500M 200M or 400M BACK or BREAST or FLY NEXT BEST EVENT


After the competition, results are uploaded to the Swimming New Zealand database. XLR8 rankings are then calculated and compiled by Take Your Marks. Short Course times are converted to Long Course using the Swimming New Zealand conversion factors. Check Take Your Marks to see all XLR8 rankings and track your progress.