Tallaght Swim Club is a competitive swimming club.  All swimmers registered with the club are expected to compete at competitions that are relevant to them when the coach deems them ready.

Galas take many forms and depend on the squad your swimmers are assigned too. 

This may be a fun club gala (level 1, stopwatch times), Club Gala (L2 or L3, timing system), Regional Gala i.e. Leinster (L2 or L3) or at a National level (L4 & L5).

Galas, or swimming competitions are run all over Dublin city, province and country. They are broken into different categories to ensure the right people are racing each other.

Most of our athletes will participate in levels 1-3 with our Senior A Squad competing in L4&L5.

In order to qualify for a level 4+5 gala, times must have been achieved at a registered level 3 gala.

When are they?

The Swim Ireland swimming calendar of competition runs from September through to July. 

Short Course season is from September through to December.

Long Course season is from January through to July.

Check out the Competition Pathway page for further information.

How will I know when to enter a gala?

Keep an eye on the team feed and please ensure you have notifications turned on.  The events section of the Team unify site or On Deck app is where you will see upcoming gala information.

Your swimmer should talk to their fellow squad swimmers about events they are entering.

Your swimmer will hear from the coaches about upcoming events.

You will receive an e-mail directed specifically at your squad to consider entry to a gala.

If your swimmer is not sure which events to enter, he/she should talk to the coach or the competitions manager.

Entry through website:

Step 1: Sign in with your log in details


Step 2: Go to “Events and Competitions” and Click on “Team Events” (Note: If you go directly from your email link you will be brought here automatically)

Step 3: You will see invitation details for your Swimmers Gala. Click on “Edit Commitment”



Step 4: Click on declaration: “Yes X will attend” or “No, X will not attend” Save Changes

Step 5: Click on the dates and sessions that your Swimmer is eligible for. Note: For all squads except National squad, the Coach will choose the races for the Swimmers. Once you have clicked on dates and session, Click Save.


How Do I Enter through On Deck app?

Entry is very straight forward. Using the On Deck app…

  1.  Open the app
  2. Click on “Events” in menu
  3. Select the relevant gala, declare.
  4. Select your swimmer
  5. Select “Yes Please”
  6. Then select the events you wish to enter by clicking on the small box on the left-hand side. (If qualifying times are needed, you will only be able to select events you qualify for.
  7. “Save Changes” 

Your Team Unify account will be charged by the treasurer after the head coach has approved the events and the event co-ordinators have confirmed the entries.


I’m Entered, now what?

The coaching staff and competitions manager do the rest. Your job as a parent is to assist your child in being prepared mentally. Plenty of sleep, good food and positive reinforcement is required.

Please remember that “Personal Best” times are irrelevant. “PBs” are a nice marker or indicator of improvement, however they are not the only sign of progression. Delivering skill under pressure is more important.

One Week Out, What do I do? Eat more carbs? Rest rather than train?

Change Nothing! It is the coach’s job to manage the athletes leading into competition. If your swimmer has a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy balanced diet, you need not change a thing. Some competitions are also used as training days, to try new strokes, techniques etc.

Don’t skip training.
Don’t change your diet.
Drink a little more, Hydration is very important!

It’s the night before…..

It is very important that the swimmer takes responsibility for their own bag and packing same, they are the ones that need to be able to know what is in the bag and where everything is.

  1. Pack your bag the night before.
  2. Include your snacks, your packed lunch and stock up on fluids.
  3. Bring multiple pairs of swimming togs. Ideally one for warm up and a spare or two.
  4. Bring 2 towels, 2 spare hats, 2 pairs of goggles and flip flops for on deck.
  5. Bring club hat, shorts and t-shirt and hoodie if you have them.
  6. Pack skins if advised by your coach and you are eligible to wear same due to age restrictions.  https://www.swimireland.ie/news/swim-ireland-tech-suit-policy-2020
  7. Make sure you have something dry to go home in. Club gear usually gets wet in between races. 
  8. Ensure you know the warm up time for the gala. Set your alarm accordingly. You need to arrive at least 30 mins before the warm up time to change and complete a dry land warm up.
  9. Put everything in the hall or car ready to go in the morning. Tomorrow its business time. No delays as galas start early!

Its race day, what do I do (Swimmers)?

  1. Wake up early enough to have a relaxed breakfast, both swimmer and parent.
  2. Swimmer (Avoid caffeine), maybe a multivitamin and leave with plenty of time to be relaxed and no rushing…..
  3. Arrive at the pool and find the coach.
  4. As a group start your dryland warm up and continue the dryland for at least ten minutes prior to getting into the water for a pool warm up.
  5. In the pool warm up, try not to stop. Keep moving to get warm. Unless you are warmed up, there is NO NEED TO DIVE. If you’re not warm, you can’t dive and sprint, and doing so may cause injury. Sprints can be done in the warm up and the officials will advise when it is sprint time.
  6. After the warm up, go and relax, change into your skins or dry togs if you are not the first event. PARENTS: You relax also, nerves can be quite high, for both swimmer and parent. Chill out, it is only swimming!!!
  7. If a team manager (parent allocated as team Manager for that day) is available, make yourself known to them. They will have the heat sheets available. Please find out your event start times and the heat and lane you have been allocated.   More experienced athletes are more aware of times etc but younger athletes should seek out the team manager who will usually write the event/heat/lane data on their hand as a reminder.   Swimmers should go down to line up for their event well in advance of their race but the organisers will usually call the event, so keep an ear out! 
  8. Pre-Race, swimmers should talk to the coach about 20-30mins prior to racing. Get a race plan, trust the race plan.
  9. Head down to line up.

After the race, speak to the coach for a debrief. PARENTS, your job is to support the children. Not to coach. Leave that to the people trained and paid to do that! Your job is to put a realistic yet positive learning spin on any result.

Go Home, or repeat if more races ahead.


PARENTS, an app called Meet Mobile can be very useful on race day. It details all events, the order of them and the entrants and the times. It might save you the cost of a programme. It won’t have all galas on it but will have any Leinster and/or Swim Ireland meets.


What to eat?

Don’t change what you normally eat for the sake of a race or two. Stick to what you know, the amounts you usually eat and the frequency you normally eat. The only change would be a little extra snacking. High sugar fruit after a race to help replenish glycogen is good, light carbs also help through the day.

  • Juicy citrus fruits
  • Popcorn
  • Sandwiches
  • Rice cakes
  • Smoothies
  • Nuts

Chocolate is a no go….