By accepting membership of Wombourne Swimming Club, you give a commitment to swim in Galas and Competitions as and when requested by the Team Manager.

The Committee reserve the right to review the membership of any swimmer who regularly declines to participate in Galas and Competitions when selected to do so.

A timetable of Galas and Competitions is published on the Club Notice Board and Website.

If you are selected for a Gala you will be notified by e-mail as far in advance as is possible. A Team Sheet will also be posted on the Club Notice Board, including date, time and venue.

Swimmers are requested to confirm their availability to compete either by e-mail, verbally to the Team Manager or by ticking off on the Notice Board Team Sheet. It is very important that you confirm your availability to swim as soon as possible, if you are unable to compete, the Club needs time to call up a reserve.

You will not be told what race or discipline you will be swimming prior to the event. The Team Management cannot finalise this until they know who will be available and can work out appropriate race allocation.

You will only be asked to swim in events that the Head Coach feels that you are capable of.

Only in exceptional circumstances is transport arranged by the Club, swimmers are therefore expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from the venue.


This guide has been put together after many requests of advice to ensure swimmers and parents are prepared for various swimming competitions they may be involved in throughout their swimming career.

At Wombourne Swimming Club we do expect our children to attend all squad sessions which will then ensure the children are at their best for entering the competitions that have been chosen for them.

We also expect the children to attend all swimming events they are eligible for. In this guide we will go through each swimming event and try to help you and your child understand each event and learn how to prepare and what to expect.
Each year the Head Coach picks out which meets we wish to enter for the following year and this is published on our website and a copy is also available on the notice board so parents can plan around these dates.

What types of swimming events are there?

Open or Graded Meets – These are events hosted by other clubs and will be held over a day or even a weekend. You will be entered for races applicable to your times. There are generally certain meets that we attend year on year and swimmers are expected to attend.

Open Meets are an ideal means for the organising Club to raise money and help keep fees low. Future plans are for Wombourne to host at least one Open Meet per year.

League Galas – These are team galas which are held throughout the year. They generally take place on a Saturday evening (lasting approximately 3 hours). The leagues we are affiliated to are the Staffs League, Mercian League and Nuneaton & District Junior League.

Club Championships – These are held every year in November/December at Wombourne Leisure Centre and are generally a chance for swimmers to achieve their personal best times to enter the Staffs County Championships held in February/March. Everyone is expected to attend, and all senior squad swimmers are expected to swim every event.

Open or Graded Meets

Open Meet are Swimming Galas where swimmers from many clubs come together to race in what is known as a “Licensed Meet”. Any times recorded at these meets are “official” times and can be used to gain entry into other meets of higher standards such as County and Regional Championships (see below).

There are lots of different Open Meets and these are a great opportunity for your child to compete in a wide range of strokes and distances. These galas are hosted by other clubs and your child will be swimming in an event with children from other clubs from all over the county.

These are the best way for your child to improve on their personal best times and show that all their hard work & training is worthwhile. Swimmers are seeded in ability so a fast 11 year could be swimming with 14 year olds. Open meets are generally ‘age on day’ for a one day event or ‘age on last day of event’ for weekend events, but they do vary dependent on ASA regulations. Swimmers 9 and older can enter these events as long as they have achieved the qualifying times set by the host club.

These types of events are listed below:

‘Level 4’ Meets – These are for developing swimmers and a good start for those just starting out and are usually internal club galas.

‘Level 3’ Meets – These events can have upper and lower qualifying times and can be Long Course or Short Course (see glossary below).

‘Level 2’ Meets – These are always Short Course Meets and are aimed for swimming attempting to gain Regional or National Championship Qualification Times.(see below)
‘Level 1’ Meets – These are nearly always Long Course Meets and are the highest level of meets and only have lower qualification times. These are suitable only for the fastest swimmers.

County, Regional and National Championships – Swimmers have to attain Qualifying Times for these events. Depending upon the level of the championships, the Qualifying Times need to obtained at Level 4,3,2, or 1 Meets.

How to enter
The Head Coach will plan what events the club wish to enter throughout the year. Entry forms will be issued to swimmers as early as possible before the closing date for entries by the host club.

Open meets are generally held in sessions, these can generally be a morning and an afternoon session with warm up before each session.

Swimmers along with their parents should complete the application form e-mailed to them and return it to WSC as soon as possible and in any case by the given deadline, with a cheque payment. A small amount will be added to the payment to account for poolside passes for chaperones dependant on how many races the swimmer enters.

Please make a note of this date in your diary as well as the events you entered your child for.
Any queries please speak to the Head Coach for confirmation of which events to enter or let him know of any problems regarding attending this meet.

These entries will be processed by WSC volunteers and hopefully all entries will be accepted by the host Club.

Non acceptance could be due to the meet already being full. In this instance refunds will be made to parents (check the Club Notice Board). Accepted entries will be posted on the Club Notice Board, please ensure these correspond with your entries.

The night before the Swimming Event
Swimmers should pack their bag ensuring they have everything needed for the next day including costumes, two WSC hats and two pairs of racing goggles.
Swimmers should also have club kit being a club t/shirt to wear on poolside. It is a good idea to bring a spare costumes and goggles.
Swimmers should know what events they are swimming the next day.
Food should be packed and ready in case of an early start. Food required for the day should be easily digestible and suitable for grazing throughout the day. Suggested food and drink should be:
Brown Bread, pitta bread, bagel or muffin
Rice cakes
Breakfast cereals or cereal bars
Sports drinks
Weak squash

Parents should ensure they are aware of the time needed to get to the event and the correct location. Don’t forget to pack food and drink for yourself as well!!

Parents should ensure that swimmers get an early night before the gala and that they arrive in plenty of time.

On the day of the Swimming Event.

Please turn up at least 15 minutes before the warm up begins.
Swimmers should report to the Head Coach on poolside and get prepared for their dry warm up, closely followed by pool warm up.
Once they have warmed up swimmers should then dry off and keep warm (some swimmers will change into their racing costume).
Clothing on poolside should be WSC kit being T/shirt, sweatshirt if necessary and black tracksuit bottoms & suitable footwear.
All swimmers should be aware of what events they are swimming in that session and then sit with the other club swimmers and wait for your coach to tell you when to go to the whipping area.
WSC ensure that a Coach plus volunteer chaperones are on poolside during the course of the event, appropriate to the number of swimmers entered.

All swimmers should speak to the Head Coach before their swim for final preparation and then go the appropriate marshalling area before the event.Whilst waiting swimmers should ensure that their costume is tight enough and they have their hat and goggles with them.

As their heat gets nearer swimmers should start to get focussed on their swim and mentally think how they are going to swim it. By the time there are 2/3 heats to go swimmers should be ready with their hat and goggles on.

Once the swimmer has finished their swim they should then report back to the Head Coach immediately for feedback on their race. For the overall result of that swim you will have to wait for the whole race to be swum before the result is issued by the host club.

When you have finished all your swims please ensure you let the coaches know you are leaving as some Open Meets have finals and it is best to check with them. Please clear up any rubbish and make sure you take your entire belongings home with you. Medals are available for the first 3 places and some clubs issue ribbons up to 8th place. These can be collected once the final result has been published.

Some lower grade meets operate a ‘speeding-ticket’ for swimmers who swim faster than the upper cut-off times. This means the swimmer is not eligible for a medal but it should be considered as a positive as their time has improved dramatically.

Parents, who stay to watch, may find a pen or pencil useful to mark your programme as well as praise and encouragement for all swimmers representing the club. Parents, once your child has swum please let them speak to the Head Coach before calling them over for a short visit.

League Galas
Please keep checking the notice board to see if your child is eligible for league (or team) galas, details will also be sent by e-mail. If your child is selected you will be asked to confirm by ticking their name or e-mail confirmation. Then make a note in your diary where and when.

Each child will be swum within an age range in accordance with ASA Regulations. Transport to the gala may not always be provided by WSC in which case organising your own transport or lift share is down to you.

Once at the gala the swimmer should report to the Head Coach to advise them of their arrival.
Please try and get to the gala at least 15 minutes before the warm up time notified.
The Head Coach will advise the swimmer of what race/s they will be swimming and a short warm up will take place.

Swimmers must report to the Head Coach before and after each swim. The team will be expected to wear full team kit including WSC hat and t/shirt. The swimmers should cheer and encourage all swimmers and show good team spirit throughout. All swimmers are expected to stay on poolside for the entirety of the gala to congratulate the winning club and the other participating clubs.

For parents this is a good opportunity to meet up with parents from the club and if possible a group seating area is good to boost the swimmers with plenty of cheering and encouragement from all.
What more do you want on a Saturday evening?!

Club Championships
Every year WSC hold their club championships over several sessions in November/December.
For the volunteer organisers this means a very quick turnaround of paperwork once the application forms are issued in September.

All club swimmers are eligible to enter, subject to qualifying criteria, and this is the only opportunity for swimmers under the age of 9 to take part in competition. All swimmers are expected to take part in all the events stated on the entry form and these should be returned as soon as possible.

The races are within age groups, across squads, which enables the Head Coach to compare times across the club. Results are posted after each session and all ages have swum.
Medals are awarded for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each event.

This event is only within our club and a great way of learning how the open meets run.
These events will not run without full parental support, for parents, this is the best chance to start with helping out at meets.

Results from all galas are inputted onto the club computer to hold on our database.
These results are used by the Head Coach & Team Managers when picking the team for League Galas & selection of appropriate Open Meets.