Tips To Be Prepared for Competition:

  • Know your goal for your races. Speak to your coach for advice.
  • Make sure you pack a towel, costume , T-Bag (club T shirt) or any other large T shirt for warmth while waiting for your races, a drink, a snack (not a meal!) and something to play with or read (again not too much – space is usually limited!)
  • Arrive in plenty of time. For most open meets you will need to sign in, usually by the start of the published warm up time. If it is a team gala or you have been told there is a ‘sign out’ procedure you must report to your coach 15 minutes before warm-up is due to begin.
  • Parents – If you wish to video or photograph your child you will need to comply with SwimEngland guidance.
  • There is a warm up to start with. You will be told which lane to swim in by your team manager/coach.
  • You will need to wait with the rest of our club swimmers until just before your race. You will be told in plenty of time when to go up, and will be reminded which stroke/distance you are swimming.
  • You will first go to the ‘whipping area’. Here you will be told which heat and lane you will be swimming in. Each heat of swimmers is led together to the start area – just follow the instructions given.
  • After your race you will need to see your coach for feedback on how you did.
  • If there is a swim-down pool available you should go and swim down within 3 minutes of your race finishing.
  • Take a drink with you to the swim-down pool.
  • After your race/swim down have a drink and, if there is time before your next race, a snack.
  • You should not go over to the spectators area during the gala (imagine what it would be like if all the children tried to talk to their parents after their races!). If you need to go to the toilet or wish to see your parents you must speak to your coach/team manager first.
  • Remember that there may be heats in your race, so even if you win your heat you may not win the whole event.
  • Don’t forget to take your rubbish home with you!


If you want to improve your times you need to enter competitions regularly!

Competing regularly will increase your chance of being selected to swim for the club in Team Galas and helps your coaches make decisions about moving swimmers between groups. You can gain SwimEngland competitive performance awards too. Once you are 9 years old you should aim to enter 3-4 open meets each year in addition to our internal club galas. Check our notice board and this website for details of open meets. You can download entry forms from this website. Ask at the Help Desk if you need help when completing your first entry form.