Gala Information

For Swimmers!

The night before the gala is the time for YOU to pack YOUR OWN bag; it’s your responsibility, not your parents or guardians. If you get to the pool and find something is missing and you haven’t packed your own bag, you have nobody other than yourself to blame.

What to take

Basic Kit

Racing trunks or Costumes – These should be predominantly black in colour and fit like a ‘second skin’.  This means, for girls: you should not be able to pull the straps two or three inches above the shoulders.  For you boys: your trunks should be tight fitting all over.  Remember, anything baggy will cause drag which will slow you down.  Having a spare with you is also a good idea, just in case.

Club Tracksuit and/or T-shirt – Should be worn at all galas.  If you do not have club kit, please wear black track bottoms or shorts with a black or red T-shirt.  Jeans are not allowed.  Bring at least one spare T-shirt.  If you only have one club T-shirt, bring enough plain red or black T-shirts to last the day.

Club Swimming Hat – Should be worn at all galas, after all, you are representing your club and it’s the main way supporters can recognise you when you swim.  Having a spare is also recommended as the last thing you need is for the only one you have to split poolside just before you race!

Poolside Footwear – Poolside floors can be cold and you will lose valuable body heat through your feet if you remain barefooted, therefore it is essential to wear poolside shoes, and make sure they are clean!

Goggles – Have at least two pairs.  Make sure they fit you properly BEFORE you go down to the starting position.  Try not to fiddle or play with the straps while you are waiting to be called.  If you do, you risk not only them not fitting as you want them to, but also them breaking just before your race is called!

Towels – Bring at least two towels with you; one or more to dry-off poolside between races and the other to finally dry-off when you change at the end of the event.

Attitude – Most importantly, believe in yourself and what you are capable of.  Positive attitudes bring positive results!

At Poolside

MOBILE PHONES ARE NOT ALLOWED!  It is also requested that iPods/MP3 Players and other hand-held consoles are not brought to the poolside.  Try cheering your team mates on instead!

Don’t disappear between races.  Remember you are part of a team and as such you should support one another when you’re not racing.  The coaches don’t mind if you chat with family/supporters or friends from other clubs, but save it for lunchtime and after the gala.

After warm-up and between races, always dry off and then cover yourself up again to keep warm.  If you get cold your performance will suffer.

It shouldn’t need mentioning, but try to keep all your belongings together and the Club area tidy at all times.  Put all empty bottles, food wrappers and litter either back in your bag or the rubbish bin when you have finished with them.

Food & Refreshment

Carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, etc…), fruit (especially bananas), energy or cereal bars are all recommended – all low fat.  Avoid crisps, sweets and chocolate until after you have finished swimming for the day as they are difficult to digest which in turn will affect your performance.

Take plenty to drink – water, sports drinks or fruit squashes are best.  Fizzy drinks should be avoided until after you have finished swimming for the day.

Eat and especially drink AFTER your race, not just before it.  Don’t eat all you have in one go, ‘little and often’ is best, plus remember, whatever you bring with you must last for the whole gala.

Check List

  1. Racing Trunks/Costumes
  2. Club Track Suit and T-shirts, plus spares
  3. Poolside Footwear
  4. Goggles
  5. Towels, plus spares (we recommend at least 2)
  6. Food & Drink to last the whole event
  7. Entry Cards (if the gala requires them)
  8. Leave early and get to the pool on time!

Competition Information

All competitions that have been approved by our coaches are on our website, along with information regarding qualifying times.  There are different levels of competitions ranging from Level 4 – for the newer swimmers and a good place to gain times – to Level 1 – which is primarily for the experienced national/regional swimmer.  Qualifying times are set by the competition organiser, generally with an upper and a lower limit.  If your child’s time is within these limits they can enter that event, if they are faster or slower they cannot.

When completing the entry forms it is the parent’s/swimmer’s responsibility to ensure that all information is present.  Therefore you will need to also submit, along with names: Swimming Times, DOB and ASA number.  Cheques must be made payable to Runnymede Swimming Club and if paying by cash the exact amount must be given as no change is available. Remember that if the form is not complete or fees not submitted these will be returned.

Our Competition Secretary, Susan Peake, takes all entries on a block basis – please, do not enter as an individual – this is so that all swimmers are entered electronically and one cheque is paid, which is the general request of the organiser.  By doing it this way and entering earlier there is more of a chance of getting all the swims requested.  It does not look professional for entries to go in randomly so please adhere to cut off times that are stated and get your entries to Susan ASAP. If you have any questions with regard to galas please talk to Susan or email her at

Once you have entered a competition it is advisable to put this in your diary and include the swims entered. If your child is unable to attend due to illness please email Susan immediately.  This helps the coach on poolside know who is turning up.  Competition organisers also have the right to fine a club if a swimmer is not withdrawn prior to the race – please remember that this fine will then be passed back to the parent for paying if they have not informed us of a no-show.

The calendar is updated on a regular basis – so please keep looking as galas are added continuously and may appear between events that have already been advertised.

League Galas are TEAM events.  A team sheet will be put on the notice board at Runnymede at least 3 weeks prior to the event. We would ask that you all check and keep these dates free as if your child is selected to swim they will be expected to attend and represent Runnymede Swimming Club.

Gala entry forms can be found at the club, or you can download a copy here.

Licensed Meets

Swimming Meets do not have to be licensed, but where they are specific ASA guidelines must be followed.  Licensed Meets are graded level 1-4.  Electronic timing must be used on level 1-3 meets.  Results from these are submitted to the ASA for inclusion on the National Rankings database.

Level 1 Meets

Level 1 Meets are intended for qualifying for National Championships.  Minimum entry times apply equivalent to the ASA ‘A’ Grade qualifying times.  Pools must be 50m only.

Level 2 Meets

Level 2 Meets are intended for qualifying for Regional Championships, although swimmers who achieve a national qualifying time at a Level 2 Meet may use that time for entry into the National Championships.  Qualifying times and Upper Limit times apply.  Upper Qualifying Times for these meets should not be faster than the National qualifying time for the respective age group.  Pools must be 25m only.

Level 3 Meets

Level 3 Meets are intended for qualifying for County Championships, although swimmers who achieve a Regional Qualifying Time at a Level 3 Meet may use that time for entry into their Regional Championships.  Qualifying Times and Upper Limit times apply.  Pools must be 25m or 50m only.  These galas are aimed at good club swimmers

Level 4 Meets

Level 4 Meets are intended for club swimmers and those beginning to enter individual open competition.  Qualifying Times apply.  Upper Limit times usually apply.  Pools must be 25m only.


If you need any further information, contact Susan Peake (

If you need any further information regarding disability swimming galas contact Russell Pagan (

Code of Conduct

Please download and read through our ‘easy read’ code of conduct.

Swim England Fees (previously known as ASA fees)

People become a club member of Swim England through an English Swimming Club. They do not apply themselves. Our club’s Membership Secretary uses the Swim England Online Membership System (OMS) to register members.

There are three main categories of annual club membership. These are category one, two and three. For more information about each of these categories, click here.
For information about ‘low level competitions, download the guide – Definition of Low Level Competition