Staines Swimming Club organises its own club level competitions and also participates in a number of external ones.
These are held several times a year. Swimmers are invited to swim in these galas which are held at Bishopsgate School. They are an opportunity for swimmers (especially the younger and newer members) to get valuable experience of competitive swimming conditions.
SPLASH AND DASH MEETS
Two or three of these are held every year around February and June, the date will be published on the website. They are aimed at all club swimmers that want to gain experience in competitive events and obtain times that can be used to qualify in open galas. They don’t require an entry time and involve only sprint events, this is 25m or 50m depending on ability/level.
These are also held annually, the dates are published via the club website, all swimmers who have been members of Staines Swimming Club for at least 3 months are eligible to enter. Medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place are presented during the Championships. Trophies for the winners are presented at a later date. New club members (less than three months) can still enter the events in order to register a time and gain valuable race experience, in fact we encourage them to do so.
Clubs around the country hold “Open Meets” of varying entry standard. These are advertised on our website. The Head Coach selects the galas which fit in with both the training plans and the Club’s existing fixtures and agree the year’s calendar with the Club's Fixtures Secretary. These are published in the Calendar on the Club website, and as they come up for entry, the links will be emailed out to appropriate members (depending on the grade of the competition) and are also made available on the website homepage. Those swimmers wishing to enter will need to complete their entry via the link or via the website before the closing date advised. Qualifying times tend to apply which is why beginners to the Club are actively encouraged to enter the Splash & Dash and Club Championships as a means of having times to enter. The Fixtures secretary will collate all the submissions and submit the entry files to the appropriate Club organising the Meet. The Club owes a duty of care to the organisers of such events to validate entry times, as false times often lead to other swimmers missing out who have genuinely faster recorded times, when entries are over subscribed.
Open Meets are licensed according to the purpose of their competition as Level 1, 2, 3 or 4.
Level 4 is for club swimmers and those beginning to enter individual open competitions.
Level 4 meets have relaxed qualification times and usually you can enter with no times ‘NT’. These are low level meets and you can use these to start recording personal bests in events you've not entered before.
Level 3 is for club swimmers who are now looking to achieve County or Regional level swimming times. These meets have qualifying times and upper limit times set at an appropriate level and will provide a programme of events over the 1 or 2 day Meet.
Level 3 meets might have upper limit times to restrict the standard of swimmer entry. If you have a time faster than the upper limit then you will not be able to enter.
We now move into Level 2 and Level 1 Meets which have challenging lower limit qualifying times meaning a swimmer must have achieved a time that is faster that the lower limit in the event for their age. When looking to achieve National qualification, this cannot be done at Level 4 Meets. Qualification can only be gained within the qualifying window (usually April/May of each year).
Level 2 is aimed at National and Regional swimmers close to regional qualification. These Meets take place in 25m pools and also have a set minimum standard for entry.
Level 1 is aimed at national and regional qualifiers. These meets take place in 50m pools and have set minimum qualifying times for entry.
MIDDLESEX COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Whilst we are registered in the Surrey sub-region of the ASA South East Region, we are able and indeed currently choose, to elect as our County Championships, the Middlesex Championships. In normally offering 2 County championships and 2 Development events, compared to Surrey’s 1 County event, we believe this offers more to the development of our swimmers. Whilst this remains under Annual review, any such change would need to be agreed on by the membership at either an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.
Again eligibility to these Championships is subject to qualifying entry times, but this event for the Club is the cornerstone of our calendar.
It is the first large competitive event(s) where Swimmers know where they stand in the bigger pond.
REGIONAL & NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
As they suggest, these are even bigger ponds! To reach these levels of competition is a major achievement. These are annual events, with the Regionals being located either at Winchester or Wycombe 50m Pools, whilst the Nationals are held up in Ponds Forge, Sheffield.
Inter Club Events – Team Galas
The Club takes part in several Leagues, the National Arena Swimming League in which Staines participates in the London region and the Rother League. Swimmers are selected to swim by the Head Coach and are notified by email that they have been selected at least two weeks prior to the event. They must confirm back to the Fixtures Secretary whether they will or will not be able to participate. On occasions (e.g. due to illness of another swimmer) a swimmer may be called as a reserve at short notice to take part.
Download our Route Into Competitive Swimming guide here.