- Do not get sucked into entering every gala on the ASA calendar. We have spent a long time, identifying the galas for this year, with sufficient gaps between them, to make entering worthwhile. It remains highly unlikely your child will have improved that much in times in a month, you will be wasting your money entering galas in addition to our schedule.
- The Club schedule of events for the swim year (Sept, July) is published each year. Emails will be sent out to inform when entries need to be in by and where to get the entry form. Coaches normally issue forms, as too will Parent Reps to those parents who attend sessions. Any event you choose to enter outside of this calendar is down to you, the Club will not be providing pool side support and will not handle your entry.
- Talk to your swimmer's coach about what events they should be entering and how many. If you need times for an event that we haven't time trialled then ask the Coach for his input.
- Times are critical for galas. This is why we always encourage all swimmers to enter both the Club Championships and the Novices Championships. These internal galas maybe the only place to get a time to enter an external gala with. As these internal galas are all Level 4 Licensed, the times recorded will be accepted by most, if not all Open Gala organisers.
- Galas are graded. A Grade galas come in 4 categories:
Thereafter there are a series of "B" and "C" grade galas for the more junior or less achieving swimmer. These galas normally require the swimmer to enter times which confirm they are "Not Faster than", at these events, if you then go faster than this bar in the race, you tend to get what is called a "Speeding Ticket", which is a formal notification that you have exceeded the time allowed, but getting one of these does remove you from qualifying for any medals. To clarify, the fastest time under the "Bar" time wins 1st place and the gold medal. Those who are faster than the "Bar" get a piece of paper, which is not a bad thing, you are now simply too good for this gala!
- Level 1 - National Level
- Level 2 - Regional Level
- Level 3 - County Level
- Level 4 - Sub County Level / Internal / Club Galas
- Often one of the swim shop companies will be selling kit and costumes at the event. If you lose anything / break anything, then these places can rescue you. They also often have end of range costume sales that are worth looking at.
- Parents: you cannot swim for them, and you need to realise the pressure you may be bringing on your child with your expectations, this is natural. We have all been there.
- Even the best and most experienced of our swimmers will make a mistake and get Disqualified. Pool Side staff will be on hand to comfort those for whom this is a new experience, it is part of swimming. They all need to experience a DQ and get beyond it.
- All times achieved at an ASA Open licensed meet end up on the ASA Database and the individual swimmers ranking can be viewed for each event they have a time for, both at a Regional and National Level on the Results and Rankings page of the British Swimming Website
- Enjoy it. We want swimmers supporting and cheering on each other, and joining the team environment. We want Parents screaming encouragement from the rafter, they can't hear you, but it lets the other Clubs know what we are all about!
This document is just a guide from Parent's experience to entering galas, and not any ASA approved document. It is therefore not exhaustive, and we are sure there are many things that may have been missed. If you are attending your first gala, please make use of the other Parents around you. Ask questions - they have all stood in your shoes at one point in time.
Gala Attendance by Coaches
The club are fortunate to employ three full time coaches and a number of equally committed part-time coaches.
Where a gala is targeted by the club (i.e. you receive notification that the club would like you to enter) then the club will always provide a coach to be on poolside.
Swimmers entering external galas under their own steam, won't be provided with a coach but do speak to your coach for advice and guidance, which they will be happy to provide.
Where there is a diary clash with swimmers from the club at different galas, the Head Coach will always be required to attend the highest ranking gala on the day. Coach attendance will be provided to all galas forming part of the diary clash.
Swimmers competing to a National Standard who have qualified for any gala under the umbrella of British Swimming (i.e British Championships, or any home nation Nationals and inclusive of multi classification swimmers) will have the support of a coach in attendance.
Swimmers wishing to compete in National championships outside the umbrella of British Swimming, through birth or parental qualification, will have the support of a coach, subject to flight and accommodation costs being met by the parents of that swimmer or external funding obtained by that swimmer (i.e. sponsorship obtained by parents).