BSB students who have good basic stroke technique in all four main strokes, can demonstrate a racing start and have stroke appropriate turn skills, will be considered for the BSB competitive swim team. Swimming meets are held both locally in Beijing, around China and internationally (if travelling is allowed), for all ability ranges in the team. The BSB internal meets and other local school meets are great opportunities to gain multi stroke and distance times, as well as hone racing skills required to progress to the higher-level meets. The school also competes in the annual Nord Anglia Virtual Swim meet that BSB started last year – held towards the end of term 1. The swim team currently has over 130 students in the squad from both Primary and Secondary school. The Head of Aquatics is Richard Thorp, an ex U20 GB International swimmer, who has been coaching swimming for over 30 years both in the UK, Thailand and now here in Beijing.
At the start of the year all students in Year 3 to Year 9 complete a short swimming assessment in PE lessons and students are selected to join the Aqua Bear team alongside returning students from the previous academic year. A 100IM time trial will also be used for requested try-outs during the year. Students will be assigned by the Head of Aquatics into an Aqua Bears squad group. Year 3 and 4 students are Mini Bears, with Year 5 – Year 13 assigned either a Bronze, Silver or Gold Squad status based on their 100IM performance. Students can move through the squads during the year and the gifted and talented Mini Bears may be asked to train with the bronze group as appropriate. The minimum number of sessions per week a student should attend at BSB is 1.