Galas Ethos and Guidelines
⁃ When selecting galas, avoid entering every single gala unless you are certain you will be able to take part. Check the calendar to see how closely spaced the galas are and avoid galas on several successive weekends. Remember that the children also need time to train and rest.
Guidelines: ideally children should take part in 3 or 4 galas out of 5. We put many galas into the programme to offer more options, but especially younger swimmers do not necessarily need to take part in all of them. If in doubt, ask the relevant coach for advice.
⁃ Do not enter every single event in a gala. Swimmers are likely to be too tired to do themselves justice and some galas do not allow enough rest time between each event.
⁃ Do not enter only 50s or only one event unless that is all they qualify for. Children will end up spending the whole day just racing one race.
Guidelines: select 2 events in a session of 3 or 3 events in a session of 4, mixing some of the favourite races with some of the weaker ones. Racing is also a learning and training experience. If in doubt, ask the relevant coach for advice.
Sign-out or Withdrawals galas:
⁃ If you know that your child cannot swim in some or all the races they have entered, please inform the Competitions Secretary as soon as possible, ideally at least a week in advance so that the organisers can be notified. If swimmers do not turn up, our club may be fined, and this will be passed onto parents. We have to decide how many coaches to send to a gala based on the number of swimmers who enter and if we have a lot of swimmers who withdraw or do not turn up, we may end up paying a coach that we do not need. It also delays the gala if a lot of heats have empty lanes.
⁃ Make sure to arrive in time for the sign-in, which is usually before the start of the warm-up. If you do not sign-in, your children will not be allowed to swim. Check whether you need to sign in for every event in every session or just the session.
⁃ As a Club, we strongly recommend not to try to get your children in after the sign-in deadline, as it reflects badly on the club.
No Time entries:
⁃ Most of the galas require an entry time and that cannot be from school events as school swimming is not part of the Swim England programme. The best way to get official times is through the Club Championships every autumn, so try to enter a broad range of events in this, according to the guidelines given.
Guidelines: If swimmers do not have official times, they may be able to compete in entry level galas that do not require entry times. Unfortunately, there are not many galas that allow this, and we cannot guarantee that will have such galas in the programme, as conditions can change from year to year. If they only have a few official times, they can enter a gala and they might be able to get a Time Trial in other events where they do not have an official time- they can sign up for these on the day if the organisers have space.
⁃ All the children should be on the poolside in time for the warm-up. Not only it is important for physical reasons, but also for safety. Coaches are responsible for the swimmers during the gala and they must know who is racing and who is not.
Guidelines: in case of a last-minute issue (traffic, etc) contact the relevant coach or inform the Competitions Secretary. We will do our best to provide the email address for the coach(es) who are attending but reception is not always good inside pools. Do not skip the warm-up, just because they only have one event and it is the last one (unless agreed in advance with the coach).
⁃ Overall, we are proud as a club that we are often praised for our swimmers’ behaviour on the poolside. However, there is always room for improvement.
⁃ The main concern of the coaches is that the children often disappear and spend too much time with their parents in the spectator’s area during sessions. Coaches must always be informed of the swimmers’ whereabouts.
⁃ At a minimum the children should wear the Club hat and T-shirt at galas. Apart from promoting team spirit, it enables coaches to identify them more easily in the crowd.
Guidelines: Make sure your child has the Barnes kit before they compete. Make sure swimmers have a small bag with them where can put the necessary items to take poolside, so they can leave their big bag in the changing room and give them money for a locker. This will save space and will help children to keep track of their own possessions. Remind them to look after any valuables as quite often they get lost or stolen. Provide them with some entertainment (not only phones and tablets, any game or book is appreciated) as they might have long breaks between their events.
⁃ Please, be aware that the club is run by volunteers, who give up their own free time to help the club and you. Try to keep this in mind, be respectful and responsible: read the emails and the information given.
⁃ You are responsible for your child(ren) while the club, coaches and volunteers, must look after more than 200.
When you are entering galas check the information on Team Unify and in the attached Promotors conditions which will usually answer any queries. If you still have questions do not hesitate to contact the Competitions Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org