Your Swimming Coach e-mail out an entry form to be completed and returned by a specific date.
Once the form has been completed, return it to the correct contact (usually detailed on the form itself.) If you need any help with filling in the swimmers times on the forms then speak to your coach who will be able to advise you on the best way to complete it.
Nearer the time the coach will give your child their entry cards. Pink cards are for girls and blue cards are for boys. Note: some meets are now card-less, specific details normally are available on the club meet website.
You must take these cards with you on the day of the competition. At the competition there is generally a posting box and a time deadline when you must post the card by.
On the Day your child must take their swimming kit (costumes, towels, hats, goggles) and entry cards with them on the day of the meet.
Competitions may last several hours, so please remember to give your child any food and drink for the period of time they are at the competition.
On arrival at the competition venue swimmers must post their cards in the boxes provided. If you have lost your card please see the pool side coach immediately. Often the boxes are formally closed at the start of warm-up so please listen carefully for any announcements. If the cards are not posted in time, swimmers may not be able to compete. (If the competition is a ‘cardless’ meet it will have a different set of rule.
Please see the club meet website for details or ask your coach for details) Once the swimmers have posted their cards they may go and get changed and then wait on the pool side for instruction and for the warm up session to start. The pool side coach will advise the swimmer when it is time for their race, so again it is important everyone listens to the announcements on the pool side.
On completion of a race, all swimmers must report back to their coach and not leave the poolside until they have finished all of their events. Even then they must seek permission to leave the pool side.
Parents, when you arrive at a swim competition you will usually be asked for payment to enter and watch the races. A programme may be charged in addition to the entrance fee. You should be prepared for a long wait! Often a session can be between 2-3 hours, during which your child may only be in the water for a couple of minutes.
If you want to video of take photos of your child swimming you will need to get express permission from the gala organisers and you will be expected to declare your intention to carry out any form of photography when you enter the pool and to provide your name and address. This includes using mobile phones with in-built cameras. This is primarily for child protection as well as Health and Safety reasons.
Attending competitions is all part of the development process and is there as a learning experience for your child as well as providing opportunities to achieve qualifying times etc. Be prepared for your child not to swim their best, supporting your child through a disappointing swim is as important as when they swim well.
Remember the most important thing is to have fun while swimming. If your child enjoys they gala they are more likely to swim better and want to do more in the future.