MINNEAPOLIS, April 22th, 2019 – As the competitive club season gets into full swing for spring and summer across the country, SwimSwam sat down with Bill Stephan, lifelong swimmer and veteran swim meet official to hear first hand what he and his peers are seeing when it comes to competition and swimmer safety.
“Firstly, it’s critical to protect swimmers, particularly age group athletes. Their brains are still developing and growing, so kids can be particularly susceptible to head injury in environments where collisions most commonly occur. I personally have seen countless head strikes, collisions with the wall – particularly from backstroke finishes – and swimmer collisions too. I’ve seen blood trails in the water at busy warm meet warm ups, where another teammate kicks or elbows a swimmer in the head or face. In outdoor pools it’s an even bigger concern, where the sun and wind blowing the flags are very real factors for disorienting even experienced swimmers.”