What does it all mean? Here is an A to Z guide



Arena League

The Arena League is a national league for all clubs across the country.  The swimmers are selected by the coaches to represent the club and are expected to take part in all three rounds in October, November and December.

Age on Day

Is the swimmers age on the day of the competition, however where a competition take place over 2 or 3 days, it is usually the age on the final day of the competition. 



Bob – breath on breakout

Ideally you want to come into a turn in a race with enough oxygen to complete the turn and this should allow you to breath when you have pushed off the wall – the breakout phase of the turn. 



County Championships

Takes place over two weekends in January at Wycombe Pool. We take part in the Berks and South Bucks county championships and details can be found at www.bsbasa.org

Club Champs

This is a series of competitions that we organize for Chalfont Otters swimmers only. It is open to all age groups and it is a great opportunity for a swimmer to experience competitive swimming in a friendly environment and gain a time for a particular event. Medals and certificates are awarded at the annual presentation night. 


To find your committee members, take a look at the Committee page. If you can support the committee in any way, please let us know, as we are always looking for additional support. 

Cut off times

These are used when entering certain meets and ensures that swimmers who are too fast or too slow for the meet criteria are unable to compete. This ensures a fairer competition for all. When entering an open meet the qualifying times will be provided.

Conversion times

A conversion time is when a race is swum in different size pools. If a race is swum in a 50 metre pool times will be slighter slower as there are less turns.  Therefore to get a true time a conversion is available using the link on the website.  


It is expected that if your child is represented the club at a gala that they wear some items of Otter clothing, this can be an Otter tracksuit, Hoodie, Fleece to / from the gala and a Technical Tee or Training Top while poolside. Clothing can ordered via the Otters shop or via the attached link.


We have different coaches for different squads; please feel free to reach out to child’s coach if you have a question about your child’s development. 




Even Olympic swimmers can get disqualified – it happens to the best swimmers. Ensure you know what you are doing – the start, stroke, turn and finish all equate to possible disqualification. The list of possible disqualifications can be found by clicking on the following link.




Please use Easy Fundraising when shopping online to help raise money for the club.  There is no charge to you and it is really simple way to raise money for the club. Take a look at our Easy Fundraising page. 


The club and it members are a friendly & approachable club and we encourage all members to attend our social events, presentation night, AGM etc. Please keep an eye on the website for details of the different events, and if you help out at the events, don’t forget to let us know. 




These can be found on the fixtures page. The list contains fixtures for the current year including all swimming leagues, opens, counties, regional and national competitions. Please make sure you get your entries in as soon as you can, if you have any questions about a specific fixture, please ask. 


All monthly fees are collected via Go Cardless and are calculated to allow for breaks over summer and Christmas period. Any holidays taken by yourself or missed sessions due to illness are still to be paid.


Throughout the year, the club needs raise funds for items that are not covered by the fees. We try to make these events fun and for the swimmers to work as a team outside of the pool. If you have any fundraising ideas, please let us know. 


It is important to keep refueling especially at galas, and your child has enough food. Try to eat as soon as possible after your swim to give yourself as long as possible to recover if you have to swim again. The list below offers great food options to be snacking on in and around training for a competition. Remember to keep eating healthy foods from your regular diet though, such as fresh vegetables, nuts and fruits.

  • Water, diluted fruit juice with a pinch of salt or a sports drink
  • Pasta salad, Plain sandwiches e.g. chicken, tuna, cheese with salad, banana, peanut butter, Bananas, grapes, apples, plums, pears, Cereal bars, fruit bars, sesame snaps, Prepared vegetable crudités e.g. carrots, peppers, cucumber and celery.


These can be purchased at the Otters shop and are used during training sessions to help build up the leg muscles. 


FINA or Fédération internationale de natation or International Swimming Federation) is the international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee for administering international competition inwater sports. It is based in Lausanne in Switzerland.  FINA currently oversees competition in six aquatics sports: Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Diving, High Diving, Artistic Swimming Water polo  FINA also oversees Masters competition (for adults) in its disciplines.




Graded meets are how open meets are usually categorized. The meets range from B/C grade meets, A/B grade meets to Level 1 meets. This ensures that swimmers compete against swimmers of similar capabilities. The coach will ensure you are entered into the correct level meet.




The club has a reduced schedule in Aug and around the Christmas period. This lighter schedule is factored into the monthly fees.


It is vitally important to remain hydrated while swimming. Swimmers are expected to bring a drink to training. Consider increasing your fluid intake a couple of days before a competition as a small reduction in hydration can lead to reduction in performance. 



Individual Medley

The Individual Medley (IM) has to be swum in the following order. Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Freestyle.




We can not run a meet to gain official times without the required amount of judges.  The judges are all parent volunteers who have been on a course to gain the qualification. The club are always trying to encourage parents to sign up to time keeping courses and then to follow on with judge level 1 and 2. Please contact us to find out how to get more involved.




Are used during training sessions to help strengthen leg muscles. These can be purchased from the swim shop.


When taking part in a competition please ensure that you have duplicate items such as spare costume/trunks, towel, goggles and hat as it could lead to undue stress if you lose or damage one before an event and do not have a replacement. Please make sure all the kit ism labelled with your swimmers name. Any property that we lind is listed on the lost property section of the website. 



We attend the following leagues throughout the year. Thames Valley Junior League, Milton Keynes Junior League and the Arena League.  The squad is selected by the coaches are those swimmers are expected to represent the club over all three rounds.

Lost Property 

Please ensure that all of your kit is named.  If any items are found, they are photographed and placed on the lost property section on the website.

Liberty's Legacy 

Liberty Schurer was a member of Chalfont Otters Swimming Club for many years and sadly passed away. The club has decided to continue the charity where possible and Chalfont Otters never want to forget Liberty and the swimmers are reminded of her strength and determination to fight Ewings Sarcoma. More details can be found on our Liberty's Legacy page. 




I.M stands for individual medley, an event when a swimmer swims each of the four strokes in the following order: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Freestyle. 

Medley (team) 

Team medley is swum by a relay team and the order of stroke i different to the I.M and is as follows: Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Freestyle. (This is due to the start position when swimming backstroke and therefore handover couldn’t take place.




A very important part of a swimmers discipline. Everyone needs a healthy diet to help them stay fit and well. A swimmers diet is based on a normal diet but with a few changes to cope with the extra work that you do.

Negative Split 

Swimming a Negative Split means that the second half of the distance is swum at a faster pace than the first half. The idea is to control your pace at the beginning of the swim so that you have the energy necessary to swim faster at the end of the swim.


Usually take place in July each year and are the next step up from the regionals. Qualifying for the nationals is a fantastic achievement and we are very lucky to have swimmers at our club who have swum at the Nationals. More details can be found at www.britishswimming.org.




OnDeck is a app that supports the software that we use to run our website, check your childs times, receive entries for galas etc. When joining the club, you should receive an email to verify your account, and please make sure your profile is correct with the right phone numbers etc, so we can contact you if we need to

Open Meets

Are targeted by the club throughout the year.  In these competitions, swimmers swim as an individual and not as a team as in League galas and you pay a fee to enter the events. Details of the meet are emailed to the squads for the open meet which would be most suited to them, this is generally quite a few months ahead of the event, some competitions tend to get oversubscribed so it is important to get entries in as early as possible. You need to select the events you wish to compete in via team unify, please be sure to check that your current times are within the qualifying times set by the host club. There is a charge for each event you compete in which is set by the host club. At these competitions, medals are presented to those swimmers in the top 3.   



Personal best (PB) 

A PB is your personal best time you have ever swum each event. When we go to meets, many swimmers gain even better PB’s.

Pull buoy

A Pull buoy is a piece of kit used during training sessions to help strengthen arm muscles.




If you have a question, just ask – someone in the club will know the answer.


Qualifying Times

Qualifying for events is a fantastic achievement and the club strives to ensure our swimmers qualify for as many events as possible. Links for qualifying times can be found on the website, under the useful information section. 




These have recorded over the years and we encourage our swimmers to try beat a club record. Any swimmer that manages to gain a club can be proud that they are the fastest swimmer in the club's 40-year history. These achievements are recognised at the annual presentation night.  


These are used to slow a swimmer down and to give their muscles a better workout. During the training sessions we may use a variety of different equipment to incorporate resistance training into the set.


At the league events, many of the swimmers will take part in relays. This could be a medley relay (back, breast, fly and freestyle) or freestyle relay.  




Chalfont Otters Swimming Club is always seeking sponsorship for the club and its swimmers. We would welcome any leads, introductions and get some sponsorship to assist with funding various projects. If you have any ideas of contacts who might be interested in getting involved please let us know. Details of the different sponsorship opportunities can be found under the sponsorship section of the website.


For league events the selection is made by the coach and the decision is made using an up to date P.B (personal best) list. You will be advised by email if your swimmer has been selected and we expect your swimmer to attend, as it is an honour to represent your club.


Chalfont Otters has been awarded SwimMark accreditation. The SwimMark Accreditation is a Quality Mark, set by Swim England. It is recognized nationally and regionally the clubs that are committed to providing safe, effective and quality services for the benefit of their members.

Speeding Tickets

Speeding tickets are sometimes given out at Open meets. It is handed out when a swimmer finishes the race quicker than the cut off time for the entered race.

Social Media

The club have a Facebook, Instagram & Twitter accounts. We use these accounts to share updates on our performance, “Otters of the Month”, photos from galas etc. If you have any feedback regarding our Social Media activity, please contact our Social Media person, who’s details will be on the Committee section of the website.    


A Spearhead formation is the term given when competitors start a race with the fastest swimmer in the middle, surrounded by the next fastest either side and follows this formation to the outer lanes. 



Training sessions

It is important that swimmers turn up at the correct time, prepared to start training on time. If we need to change a training session, we try and give as much advance warning as possible, via the On Deck App or via email. The latest timetable can be found on the website, under the timetable section.


TeamUnify is the software that we use to host our website, enter certain galas, communicate with the parents via the On Deck  app. When joining the club, you should receive an email to verify your account, and please make sure your profile is correct with the right phone numbers etc, so we can contact you if we need to. We do not use the billing module within the Team Unify software package – we collect payments via Go Cardless. 

Training Camps

At certain times of the season, we organise Swim camps for certain squads. These can be in the UK or overseas and it is a great opportunity for the squads to bond as a team and also focus on their training. If you would like your child to be part of these camps, speak to your coach and parents can support the camp by being a Team Manager during the trip. 



Underwater Phase

It is important to think about your underwater phase everytime you dive in and at each turn.  This can improve your swimming time and is a really good skill to master.  Please speak to your coach if you feel any extra help.




We have several videos on our website explaining how to perform certain exercises. Take a look at these if you have a chance. 


Without our club volunteers we would struggle to maintain the smooth running of the club. The club has many volunteers both working on poolside and behind the scenes. We are extremely grateful for these individuals who give up hours of their time to make the club a success.  If you can spare some time to help the committee would be extremely grateful as we are always needing extra help. Please see a committee member for information.




It is vital that all swimmers come to training with a water bottle.  During the training session, the swimmers will sweat but they just don’t feel it as they are immersed in water.  It is very important to stay hydrated.


An important communication method for our swimmers and parents. The website is updated on a regular basis and we hope to cover all aspects of our club and information needed to help the club run smoothly. If you have any ideas of information required on the site please do not hesitate to contact the website co-ordinator, any ideas will be gratefully received.

Welfare Officer

The club considers the welfare of our swimmers as a very serious matter and therefore rules are in place regarding anti bullying and child protection.   All coaching staff and poolside helpers undertake a CRB check before working with the swimmers.  If any swimmers or parents have any queries regarding this matter please contact our Welfare Officers.



Younger Swimmers 

The clubs organises events for age groups both in & out of the water, so please encourage your child to participate in the events. If you are worried whether the event is the right type of gala / open meet etc, please speak to your coach and they point you in the right direction. 




Always make sure that you get plenty of rest before an important event. Swimmers who are tired will not swim to the best of their ability.