CoStA (City of St Albans Swimming Club)

At CoStA we strive to be the best that we can be ... while having fun

FAQs                                                                                                   (top of page) 


1 How are my fees spent?           Back to Top
Nearly all your fees are used to pay our fixed costs.  These include: 
  • Hiring of pool training times at the St Albans School, Westminster Lodge & the High School for Girls

  • Coaching costs and lifeguarding costs.

All Administrative functions (fee collection, membership management, gala entry, website, database management and reporting, shop, press officer etc) are completed by volunteers.  

Additional funds raised (via cake sales, club champs, club levy) are used to cover coaching passes at meets, rescue test training, coaching development, safeguarding courses etc

Please do what you can (e.g. getting your training fee correct) to reduce the workload for our volunteers.

Do offer help where you can - just by getting e.g. your meet entry correct, you are helping the club run smoother.

2 How do I convert my times from SC to LC, or vice versa?            Back to Top

Usin the OnDeck Application, you can use the 'Time Converter' function, under 'Cool Tools' to convert your swimmer times.

You can also use the website. Select conversion, event and swimmer gender. Enter the time you want converted.  Convert using the 'ASA Tables' method.  
Open Meets: Please bear in mind that a converted time in Sports Systems, for Meet entry, does not always exactly reflect the ASA Tables converted time.

3 How do I find my child's swimming times?           Back to Top

From the Team Unify (TU) website, Log in and then click 'My Account'. Select the swimmer, via the Member tab'. Select 'Best Times' tab and you will be able to see your swimmer's PBs.

You can also view PBs via the OnDeck Application, under 'Membership', from the side menu.

Your swimmer's ranked times (i.e. from licenced meets) are also available from Select 'Rankings/Individual Best Times'.

Can times from non club events be entered into our Results system?

You may occasionally take your swimmer to an Open Meet the club isn't attending.  In that instance you need to ask the meet organiser to email a results file for CoStA/SAST (our ASA code) to our Meet Entries Volunteer ([email protected])

That way, if the Meet is running Hy-Tek software (Team Manager and Meet Manager),  the validated results (along with event location, dates, license number etc) can be imported into Team Manager on a simple File-import operation. If the meet is running Sport Systems software, then you will need to request an .sd3 results file.

4 What additional training Kit does my swimmer need?      Back to Top
Squad Kit Requirements
Reception Short Fins
Foundation, SD & Club Kickboard with handles
Pull Buoy
Short Fins
JD, JC, JP, SP Kickboard with handles
Pull Buoy
Short Fins
Finis Agility Hand Paddles
Finis pulling ankle strap/leg band


5 What are the fees and when are they due?           Back to Top
Fees are agreed at the annual AGM and updated 1st September each year.

Fees are paid by Direct Debit on a monthly basis only.  Our fixed yearly costs are averaged out (taking into account holidays and shutdowns) so each months fees are the same. 

Direct Debits:  The direct debits will be taken on the 1st of each month. There will be a full break down of the payment in your Team Unify account. As with all direct debits you will be fully covered by the direct debit guarantee.

You can request a Direct Debit mandate from [email protected]  This will need to be signed and returned (preferrabley scanned and sent electronically back to the treasurer). We only require one mandate per family. Please ensure all sections are completed except for the reference number - this must be left blank. 

Returning University Students who previously swam with the club and wish to train in the holidays.  The Student Member cannot count towards any family discount.

6 Is there a family discount?     Back to Top
Yes - the fourth swimmer in each family is free.  This discount is applied to the youngest swimmer.  Please note that a Student Member cannot count towards any family discount.
7 Is there a rate for Students?     Back to Top
Yes - for those who were previously swimmers with the club before heading off to University there is a student rate per month which must be paid for the whole year.  This allows these returning swimmers to train with the squad during University holidays.   The Student Member cannot count towards any family discount. For students who were not previously members of the club the normal monthly Masters rates apply.
8 Is there a discount for qualified teachers/coaches?     Back to Top
A small discretionary discount may be considered for those volunteer parents who have an appropriate Swimming Teachers/Coaching qualification. This is dependent on the number of volunteer hours they carry out per week. Please email the current chair for information [email protected]
9 How do I give notice that I want to leave the club?       Back to Top

If a swimmer plans to leave the swim club they need to send written notice (an email is fine) to the membership team at [email protected], cc'ing their coach.

If this email is received between 1st-16th of the month, the swimmer can continue to swim until the end of that month. No further monthsly fees will be collected by DD.

If this email is received between 17th and last day of the month, then as the DD process has started for the following month payment will be taken on the 1st of the follwoing month. therefore the swimmer can continue to train until the end of the following month. 

This policy was agreed at the 2015 AGM and updated following the introduction of Direct Debits.

Paypal Operations

10 Why might my shopping cart not clear?            Back to Top

Occasionally your shopping cart does not clear after you have made payment.  We are told that this is a known very occasional cookie caching issue particularly if using Google Chrome or Safari. 

So, when entering your next meet if you see entries from a previous meet in your shopping cart please use the ‘Remove’ option so as not to pay twice for an event.  If you haven’t had a confirmation of the first entry then please contact [email protected] to get a copy of the confirmation.

11 Will I get an email confirmation of payment?           Back to Top

Whether you pay by Debit/Credit car or via a Paypal account you should receive a confirmation email.  This is your receipt of entry.  You do have to enter your email address during the payment process and this address is used for the confirmation. 

For the occasional time you don’t receive a confirmation email please check in your Junk folder to see if it has been delivered there.  If not then do email [email protected] who can send you a copy of the confirmation.

12 Should I enter multiple meets in one transaction?           Back to Top
When entering multiple meets please make all your entries for the first meet as one transaction and start another seperate transaction for the second or third meet. This makes it easier for our volunteers to process the financial data for accounting purposes.
13 How do Paypal refunds work?           Back to Top

We will try to refund any refunds due against your original meet entry transaction.  However the club don't usually receive the monies back until the meet has taken place.

If this is past the Paypal 60 day refund window then we may have to refund against another transaction.  On these occasions don’t worry – your swimmer hasn’t been taken out of a meet – please see the ‘Note from Merchant’ information which will tell you what the refund is for.

The refund is made to the Debit/Credit card or Paypal account you used for the original transaction.

Club Champs

14 What age groups are used?           Back to Top
The 'Conditions of Meet' document will state the age groups of our Club Champs.
15 Why use an 'age as of' 31st December date?           Back to Top

Our club champs has always been run as ‘Age as of 31st December’ in a given year.

Yes, this does mean that your swimmer who is 10 years in June but turning 11y before the 31st December 2019 will swim as an 11 year old at our Club Champs. This is true for all our swimmers.  This allows us a level playing field and means our results and records are awarded egardless of the date the event is held. 

Counties and Regional meets use an ‘age as of 31st December’ date.

16 Will my swimmers swim with others of a similar age?           Back to Top

Our Club Championships will be seeded so that swimmers compete against others (regardless of age) who have a similar entry time. 

Those without an entry time will be seeded in the first few heats, usually with others of a similar age. 

Times from all heats are collected and the Meet Management software works out the correct age group winner.

17 What does heat declared winner mean (HDW)?           Back to Top

Heat declared winner is a swimming term which just means that there are no Finals in the meet rather than that the winner of the heat is the winner of the age group! 

Times from all heats are collected and the software works out the correct age group winner.

18 How do I volunteer to help?     Back to Top
We need at least 25 Event Support staff/volunteers staff per swimming session to run our Championships (no experience necessary) – please email Zarrine Dye on [email protected] with your offer of which session you could help at. 
19 How many officials are needed to run Club Champs?     Back to Top
A minimum of 22 Officials (8 lanes) are needed for every session of Club Champs (8 timekeepers to back up the automated timing system, 2 Referees, 4 Judges of Stroke, Starter, Announcer, 4 x Turn Judges & 2 Chief Timekeepers). 

We are very lucky and grateful to have a group of parents who have qualified at various level to officiate but we still rely on external Referees who give up their free time to come and help us out.  We are extremely grateful for this and for those parents who have qualified and who stay on regardless of whether their child is swimming or not.  Without them Club Champs as a licensed meet would not be possible.

20 How many event support staff at needed at Club Champs?     Back to Top
We need at least 25 Event Support staff per session.  These are the vital roles needed to run the gala such as Door staff/Welcome (1), Swimmer sign in (2), drinks distribution (2), Team Manager of a group of swimmers (8), Marshalls to organise swimmers into heats (2), changing room monitors (2), recording and reporting (3), installation of timing system etc. 

Some event support roles do mean you finish your task and are then free to watch the session but all roles allow for you to swap out to see your swimmer compete.

21 What about parking?     Back to Top
Normal Westminster Lodge pay and display rules apply on both days.

Herts County Championships

22 Can I use any time to enter Herts Counties?     Back to Top
No - You must have gained the qualifying time for County entry at a Licensed Meet.  This means that you must have gotten the time at an Open Meet, Club Champs or at an Arena round as only these events are licensed.  The only exception to this, at the moment, is for 400m and above events where you can gain a time at a club time trial where your coach has sanctioned the time being claimed.
23 How do I find my swimmers time?     Back to Top
You can check your swimmers PB time via the club website by taking the Results link, signing in (using your CoStA Username and Password) and then taking the ‘click here’ link, in the top paragraph, to see the Team Stats database. Also, see answer in General questions.

Select Athletes, then find your swimmer and select ‘Times’ beside their name.  Now change the course field from Yards to SCM (for short course metres) and you will see your swimmers PB times for each event. 

If the event shows that their PB time is e.g. Squad training time, then you need to change the ‘Fastest’ filter from 1 to 2 or 3 until you see a time for that event which was gained at a licensed meet.   

24 What events should my swimmer do?     Back to Top

Have a look at the programme and work out what the best mix of events is for your swimmer, or talk to their coach and ask their opinion. 

The sessions at Counties can be long (3-3.5 hours) and you will need to work out how your swimmer will best cope with the long days.  You may have heard others talking about BAGCAT (British Age Group Category points). For a detailed explanation click here

25 How do I enter Herts Counties?     Back to Top

Take the Payment link from the main menu on the club website, identify the session and event you wish your swimmer to enter, enter their name and ‘add to cart’ as normal.  Continue shopping and add any further events. 

When you have completed your entry you can proceed to checkout and pay for the events.  You will receive a confirmation email – if you don’t get that please check your junk folder to see if it is there and if you don’t get an email (which is your receipt) then please contact [email protected] for a copy. 

26 When is the club's closing date for entering the Herts County Champs?     Back to Top

The closing date for entries displayed on the payment page. We then have just a few days to process and finalise our entry and get it off to the County before their closing date

Please be aware that it is club policy to only ask our volunteers to do a job once.  Once the club entry is closed then we do not revisit the club’s entry.  It is down to you to get your entries in on time.   The County pack only came out a couple of days ago so we were unable to process the entries any earlier.  It is a tight turn around for clubs so your support in getting your entry in on time is appreciated.     Back to Top