Rainbow Distance Awards

The rainbow awards are bright, cheerful and motivating. They are designed to give young swimmers, aged five and older, the incentive to develop their swimming abilities and stamina

This comprehensive collection of distance awards ranges from five metres with a buoyancy aid (Puffin) through to 5,000 metres. This range of awards is designed to motivate children to swim longer distances by increasing the distance gradually over the 19 Awards in the series. This helps young swimmers to develop their confidence, ability and stroke techniques along the way.

The Puffin Award and the Rainbow Awards have been very carefully designed to test, encourage and give swimmers the confidence to achieve their goals. 

The Next Step

We would encourage attainment of the Rainbow Stroke Distance Awards following successful completion of the Rainbow Distance Awards.

Please note: It is important that teachers, lifeguards, parents/carers and swimmers do not regard a distance award as an indication that swimmers are safe in deep water.


Squads Term 1. Term 2. Term 3.
Swordfish 1. Duckling 1 Duckling 2 Duckling 3 Duckling 4 Duckling 5
Swordfish 2. 5m Freestyle W. Skills 1 10m - 20m Freestyle 10m Backstroke 10m Breaststroke
Swordfish 3. 25 Freestyle W. Skills 2 25m Backstroke 20m Backstroke 5m - 10m Butterfly
Swordfish 4. 50m Freestyle W. Skills 3 Diving Skills NPTS 8 25m Breaststroke Preliminary Safety
Swordfish 5. 100m Freestyle W. Skills 4 Diving Skills NPTS 9 200m Freestyle Survival 1
Dolphins 6. 400m Freestyle W. Skills 5 Diving Skills NPTS 10 600m Freestyle Freestyle
Dolphins 7. 800m Freestyle W. Skills 6 Bronze Challenge Preliminary Start Backstroke
Sharks 8. 1000m Freestyle Pre-comp L1 Silver Challenge Survival L2 Breaststroke
Sharks 9. 1500m Freestyle Comp Start Gold Challenge 1 Mile Freestyle Fly Stroke
Sharks 10. 2000m Freestyle Pre-comp L2 Honours Challenge Distance I.M. Strokes