Following a traumatic event, champion swimmer Claire Carpenter (Peyton List) can no longer compete and disappears from public view. Worried about her lack of focus, her father (Martin Dingle Wall) insists she take a coaching position at a swim camp in Australia and puts her on a plane to Brisbane.
Things go from bad to worse for Claire when she finds she’s rooming with her archrival, Mikayla (Lauren Esposito), who delights in turning the others girls against her. The boys team that she’s coaching mock her and refuse to listen to anything she says. Coach Bodhi (Ray Chong Nee) has no idea what he’s doing. And despite all this, her father insists that Claire stay in Australia. So Claire refuses to take her coaching job seriously until team captain Liam (Daniel Needs) helps turn her around.
Slowly, Claire begins to whip the boys into shape and help the girls improve their performance too. By the time the national championships arrive, Claire has learned some powerful lessons about forgiveness and friendship. But ultimately the boys must prove to themselves, their parents and the world that they have what it takes not only to win but also to save their beloved swim camp from imminent closure.
Bullying; disconnection from parents; the pressure of disappointment and facing your fears
Swimming for Gold has some violence. For example:
- A group of girls gang up on Claire and throw water balloons at her.
- A swimmer grabs Mikayla’s goggles and purposely crushes them with her foot.
- A swimmer shoves a reporter into a pool.
Swimming for Gold has some sexual references. For example, a girl refers to Liam as a ‘stone cold hottie’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nudity and sexual activity
Swimming for Gold has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Most of the characters wear swimming costumes.
- Claire and Liam kiss on a park bench and almost kiss on another occasion.
The following products are displayed or used in Swimming for Gold: Piranha Golden Hash Potato Grills chips; Puma shoes and bags; Apple iPhones and iMac computers; and Beats wireless headphones.
Also, Funky Trunks, Funkita and Arena swimwear are repeatedly featured. And there’s a movie-related commercial for Funkita and Funky Trunks shown before the movie.
Swimming for Gold doesn’t have any coarse language, but there’s some name-calling. For example, Claire is initially ridiculed and called ‘Catastrophe Claire’ after an incident at a national championship goes viral on social media.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Swimming for Gold is an Australian-made, family-friendly, feel-good movie suitable for all but the youngest viewers. It’s likely to appeal most to tween audiences. Although it isn’t always realistic, the movie does have many positive messages about vulnerability, working hard to reach your dreams and celebrating the success of others.
The main messages from this movie are that there’s power in positivity and that we’re defined less by the things that happen to us than by how we handle them.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include friendship, forgiveness, teamwork, courage, persistence and determination.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- not communicating and treating people badly because of misunderstandings
- not listening to the dreams of young adults who have talent in more than one area
- disconnecting from your children or forgetting to see them for who they are and all that they can become.