Head Coach, Kevin O’Connor has provided the following information for you to help all swimmers and their parents / carers understand what swimming galas are and how you will become involved being part of a competitive swimming club.
INFORMATION FOR ALL PROSPECTIVE AND CURRENT COMPETITIVE SWIMMERS AND PARENTS/CARERS
The purpose of this information sheet is to make clear the competitive structure of the club, from Club Championships and Club Time Trials through to Inter Club Galas, Kent County Championships, South East Regional Championships and National level.
All these are run under A.S.A Laws except the time trials, which are run generally run on an informal basis and are used to assess the progress of your child throughout the year.
These are run on a regular basis.
- Open to all main pool swimmers
- The trials are very valuable both to coaches and to the team selectors.
- Our coaches and teachers are able to judge progress of the swimmers from times achieved.
- These times are often used in team selection for time-based galas.
- The times achieved during these time trials are normally informal and therefore cannot be used as entry times for some licensed galas.
- On occasions more formal time trials may be held such trials would be run in accordance with ASA laws and the times set may then be used for certain other competitions. Your coach or teacher should be consulted for guidance on which competitions the times set on these occasions are valid for.
- Your coach or teacher will notify you when time trials will be taking place.
- Club championships are open to all fully paid up members in accordance with the club rules.
- The club championships are normally during normal training nights on Mondays and Fridays and in term time where possible.
- Team galas take place throughout the year.
- Children are selected by the Team selector to represent the club at these galas.
- As a member of the squads you will be expected to represent the club when called upon for team galas
- In the Kent Junior League and the National Arena Swimming League children who are 9 years old by the end of the year can compete
- You will be notified via your squad rep if your child has been selected.
- Please note no payment is required for any child selected to represent the club at these galas.
- There is no signing in on the day.
- The swimmer just needs to report to the coach to acknowledge they are present.
- 8 year olds are eligible to swim in some team galas.
The Team Galas are: -
There are six of these galas run each year.
Each competing club will hold one at their home pool or chosen local venue.
The coaches select the swimmers for these galas.
The aim of these galas is for swimmers to achieve a minimum standard in each of the four strokes and Individual medley across all age groups.
8 years olds are eligible for these galas.
KENT JUNIOR LEAGUE
- The Club competes in this league competition each year.
- This is a junior competition for swimmers aged thirteen and under.
- There are three galas each and every year.
- The points at the end of all three galas decide which league we are in.
NATIONAL ARENA SWIMMING LEAGUE
- This event is over three galas and the points at the end of all three decide which league we are in.
- 11 and under through to Open age groups.
- The dates will be on the fixture list at the beginning of each year.
- These galas are swum nationally and at the highest level involve the GB squad swimmers.
OPEN MEETS (Galas)
- There are a large number of open galas through out the year both licensed and non-licensed. These events are held at various venues across the country but generally we enter those closest to us.
- Each meet we are going to attend as a swimming club will be advertised on our website and/or on the fixture list and subject to availability coaches from Folkestone will be attending these galas with the swimmers.
- All times at licensed galas are recorded on the ASA national rankings list.
Licensed Open Galas:
There are A and B grade galas. The entry times for B grade (licensed level 3& 4) will slower than the A grade (licensed level 1&2) – giving the less experienced swimmers the opportunity to compete and hopefully win races.
- Level 1 is the highest level and will therefore have the fastest entry times, level 1 galas are aimed at swimmers trying to gain regional and national qualifying times.
- Level 2 galas are aimed at swimmers going for national, regional and county qualifying times. Minimum entry times are slower than level 1 galas
- Level 3 galas are aimed at swimmers going for, regional and county qualifying times.
- Level 4 galas have the slowest entry times and are aimed at swimmers trying to gain county times and also for less experienced swimmers.
In some galas swimmers who exceed the specified times will be given a ‘speeding ticket’ which indicates the swimmer is improving and may be able to enter A grade meets in the future.
Non Licensed Opens
- During the course of the year there are a number of non licensed galas, where the times are not recorded on the ASA Database that we enter.
Information for all Opens
- In some cases the promoters will accept limited number of entries – if yours should not be accepted, then a refund will be issued.
- Entry fees will vary in price depending on what type of open it is.
- Please ensure that you download or collect the correct gala form for each gala and return your completed forms to your lead coach by the closing date specified by F.S.C.S.C. so that the entries can be processed and sent in time.
- Many events have a maximum number of entries and they are accepted on a first come basis.
- The fixture list with recommended open meetings will be regularly updated and posted on the website
- Information will also be available from your teachers and coaches or at the desk on Mondays and Fridays.
- Please use your child’s current PB times for entries however if your child doesn’t have an entry time please see your squad coach for advice.
- Please consult your coach as to which open meet to enter if you are unsure as some of these have entry time requirement. Also there may not be coaches from Folkestone at galas we are not attending as a club.
EAST INVICTA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- These are held in September/October and are a good bench mark standard for all swimmers.
- This is a closed competition restricted to members of clubs who are members of The East Invicta Swimming Association.
- The East Invicta Association is a body that promotes Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Life Saving, Synchronised Swimming and Masters Swimming within the East Kent area.
The area covered by the Association is East of a line from Dungeness Point through Ashford to Faversham.
There are qualifying times for individuals.
Relay teams are also entered selected by the coaches.
KENT COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS
- The Kent’s are the next step in the competition ladder.
- Swimmers must achieve the qualifying time for these championships.
- Clubs from all over Kent enter the championships therefore the standard is very high.
- Relay teams are also entered the coaches select these swimmers.
- These qualifying times will be posted on our website as soon as the club has them but will be available via the Kent website
- These events take place in February and March.
SOUTH EAST REGIONALS
- The South East summer regionals are held over numerous weekends in May and June.
- The South East winter regionals are held at the beginning November.
- Swimmers from the south of England compete in these championships. Qualifying times are set for these events and the standard of swimmers is even higher than the Kents.
- The entry times for these events must be achieved at a licence level event which the squad coach can explain.
- These are held in July and August.
- Swimmers from all over the UK compete in these events.
- There are qualifying times that need to be achieved to compete at this level.
- They must be achieved at a licence level event.
GENERAL GALA INFORMATION
Whilst training in the competitive training squads, or pre-competitive, if you have been selected for either team galas or to represent the club you will be expected to make yourself available. Failure to do could jeopardise your place within the squad lanes.
One of the most important aspects of any club is to have the swimmers and parent’s enthusiasm, interest and support. Winning as an individual is tremendous, but when you win for the club it can be just as rewarding for yourself, your team mates and coaches. When you are selected to swim for the club the ultimate crime is failure to turn up. DO NOT LET YOUR TEAM MATES DOWN. If you are unable to swim for any reason, please give the selectors as much notice as possible.
When you are representing the club either as an individual or as part of a team we would expect to see you in a Folkestone hat (the colour will be specified), and on poolside a Folkestone T-shirt or T Bag. Club kit is available via the club shop-please see the desk on Mondays and Fridays
We would like to remind swimmers that if everybody is dressed in the club colours it shows that you are proud to be a part of the club, which gives a good team spirit on poolside. When the club hat is worn you stand out in the water and can be easily recognised. Our aim is to see swimmers walk on poolside and be instantly recognised by other competing clubs.
We do realise that for new members the rules governing competitions must seem endless and at times very confusing but in general the person responsible for taking entries can help, or the squad coach can probably help sort out any problem that you may have. The closing dates vary, but are usually about four weeks before the gala, however where possible please get your entry form back well before our closing date. Fees must be paid when entries are submitted and this will be confirmed for each gala.
If there is any aspect that you are unsure of, or would like further information please speak to your squad coach, teacher or the desk.
We would also like to explain to parents the importance of becoming a non swimming member of the club this gives you the right to attend AGM and be eligible to vote. See the desk on Mondays or Fridays for details.
Finally would also like to advise that we run a Master’s section so if a parent is interested in swimming either for fitness or competition we would like to hear from you. For further information, please contact the desk or coaches/teachers.
Kevin O’Connor May 2013