Galas Explained

What you need to know about Club and Competition Swimming

When you join the club, you pay your yearly membership, this goes to the club to help towards the running costs of the club. You also have to pay ASA fees, Which includes payments to the various sectors within Swim England:

Swim England Category 'Club Train'

This membership category is for members of any age who are learning to swim or who are swimmers at any level, who do not compete in any discipline in open competition (other than those exempted under Law 321.1.2 and those competitions designated as low level competitions as detailed below.

1. Leagues providing that:

  • The league is a local league e.g. within a County or local area and which does not finish with a national final. (i.e. Club championships)

2. Inter-club competitions providing: (i.e Sussex League)

  • The participating clubs are invited to compete.
  • There are no more than eight clubs involved in the competition.
  • The event is a one off gala.

3. Club Championships – Licensed at level 4 

The aim of our club is to provide a safe environment in which the teachers can develop the swimmers up to a competitive standard and therefore all members of the swimming club are encouraged and invited to take part in the club’s annual championships, these happen five to six times throughout the year and cover each stroke and distance ensuring that the swimmers have an overall experience of all the swimming strokes. These galas are ASA Category 1‘Low Level Competitions’ and presently a per event charge is made to cover the costs of running the galas including the pool hire for that day and of course the medals for winners etc.

The club also enters galas within the Sussex League which is a competition held each year between local swimming clubs within Sussex. This is also classed as an ASA Category 1 ‘Low Level Competition’.  If your swimmer is proficient enough, they may be invited to compete in these galas, apart from finding your way to the local club to compete, there is no cost involved to participate as any payment is covered from ASA Sussex, but of course the objective is to win and become the Sussex Champions for that particular league!

4. Going further afield 

In order to compete in all other ASA and British Swimming events, any division of a league which finishes with a national final, open meets, County, District/Regional events and National events members must be fully paid up category 2 members. This means you will now need to increase the membership up to the next level.

Swim England Category 'Club Compete' 

This category membership is for all members of any age who compete in any discipline in open competitions (other than those exempted under Law 321.1.2 and those competitions designated as low level (see above).

These competitions are registered with Swim England and are called ‘licensed meets’, there are four levels, Level 4 being the lowest and Level 1 the highest. Our club championship are registered at Level 4 and any times achieved will be recorded on the rankings of the British Swimming registers, (ASA Category 1 is sufficient to enter a Level 4 meet). The reason for the different levels is to ensure that every swimmer has the opportunity to swim in appropriate, quality competitions to enable them to achieve their full potential.

Gaining county times 

Several Licensed Level 2 and Level 3 meets are organised by the Sussex County ASA and other Swimming Clubs, at several venues throughout the County. These are organised at different levels so that swimmers of all differing abilities can achieve their own targets.  It will be necessary to swim at some of these galas to gain all County qualifying times throughout the year, and this will also give swimmers valuable experience of swimming with different ability swimmers from other clubs throughout the County. Some swimmers that you will meet at Licensed Galas may be looking to achieve Regional and National events as well as Counties. However for the relatively new swimmer the County Championship Competition is the one to be working towards.

You can gain your qualifying times by swimming at Licensed meets at all Levels, including some Level 4 competitions. If your swim time falls within the County qualifying times this then makes you eligible to enter the County Championships, these are usually held in February/March each year. (The County Qualifying times for each year are made available during the year after completion of the County Championships).The object of course is to obtain all of the qualifying times available which covers all strokes and all distances, this allows you to enter for all events at the ‘Counties’, where there are a number of different competitions running alongside each other. These include Age Group Categories Competition, County Championships, Champion Club Competition and Club Age Group Competition.

What to do at Competitions?

Once you have entered events at competitions via the Team Unify app 'On Deck' or the Clubs website before the closing date, the club will then get a list of accepted entries. If a swimmer is scratched it means they have not been accepted or have been withdrawn from an event. Further specific information from the event organisers may then be sent confirming things such as warm up times for sessions and other protocols and procedures.

Withdrawing in advance of the meet

please let the club know in advance if you are not attending any event so we can withdraw you. 

Arriving on the day

Make sure you arrive in good time at least 15mins before the start of the warm up time of the session that you are swimming in. Make sure that you report to Hailsham team managers and coaches that will be poolside at the event, or waiting outside the facility if it is not yet open. This is important so we can confirm that you are swimming the events that you have entered. 

At the event 

Once at the event and reported to team managers, then children are under the responsibility of the club. Once they finish their events and enter the changing rooms then they are their parents/guardians responsibility. If swimmers are sitting with their parents in the spectator gallery, or going to see them for short periods of time during the event then please do be mindful of timings are when races will take place.

Each competition and session will have a dedicated warm for particular ages or sexes of swimmers. The races will start as soon as warm if finished.

If you require any more information then please do speak to the Club coaches or the Competition lead for the Club.