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Preparing for and attending galas

What to bring


  • Swimsuits **

  • Goggles  **

  • SASC swimming hat **

     **  ( always bring spares for emergencies )

  • Towel

  • SASC t-shirt and a black bottoms to enable you to keep warm on poolside

  • Trainers and socks are to be worn when waiting at poolside

  • Drinks in plastic bottles (no cans or glass bottles on poolside)

  • Snacks for between races

What you need to know


1) Sign-in/Withdrawal


The Gala Secretary will send out final instructions days before the Gala with information about what system the host is operating.


  • Some galas operate a signing-in process whereby you are required to sign-in ON THE DAY, failing which you will not be allowed to swim.  Do not assume that because you have entered and paid you are entitled to swim.  Signing in sheets will be put up before warming up starts for swimmers to sign-in to the events for that session.

  • If a gala operates a Withdrawal system it means you will be down to swim unless you notify them otherwise.  

  • If you decide not to swim you must inform the Gala Secretary before the day or the Coach who is at attendance at the event. This should be done earliest possible.  If a withdrawal system is in place, the event organisers will have assigned you to a heat and lane and the club will be charged a fee if there is a no show by the swimmer.

  • It is your responsibility to let the coach know before you leave for home when you have completed all races for the day.

  • Swimmers should be at poolside in good time for warming up.  You need to inform the coach if you are held up in traffic so that coaches will not have to go looking for the swimmers.



2) Poolside

  • Swimmers should report to the team manager/coach when arriving on poolside and, if you need to leave for any reason (e.g. to change/go to the toilet), ask permission before doing so

  • Be silent at the start of races and keep still if you are near the starting area

  • Do not walk in front of officials during races

  • It is the swimmer’s responsibility to take note of the events they are participating and listen for instructions to warm up or whip in for your events in order to minimise the risk of missing races

  • Where possible, swimmers should try to warm up together

  • Speak to your coach prior to and after racing, so he/she can give you advice and feedback

  • Keep warm between races by drying off and covering up

  • Keep the area tidy by keeping your bags neatly packed and putting any rubbish you create into bags provided

  • Swimmers should sit with their team mates throughout galas and be supportive of them.  Cheering for your club swimmers during races encourage team work and a big boost to them in their performance.



3) Food

  • Eat sensibly in the run up to a gala – carbs are always important to swimmers to keep up energy levels.  Too much fat, or food generally, will make you sluggish

  • Keep hydrated both in the run up to a meet and during – regular small drinks of water will help

  • Food on the day should be easy to eat and digest and it is a good idea to take food that can be eaten as small snacks rather than a big meal.  Low fat sandwiches/bagels, simple pasta dishes, fruit/raw veg are all good options



  • Spectators are always welcome but it can be a very long day in a very hot atmosphere, so ensure you dress comfortably for the heat, bring food and drink ( except where these are not allowed eg at the London Aquatics ) and something to keep you occupied in the long waits between races

  • Parents are not allowed poolside so ensure you pack everything your child will need in their bag

  • Generally you will be expected to pay an entrance fee, for which you will be provided with a programme of events

  • Try to be positive for your children at galas even if they don’t swim well.  You may feel you have wasted many hours but negativity will not help!  Most swimmers will put immense pressure on themselves to perform well and, if a race does not go to plan, they will be disappointed and may feel they have let you down.  A parent's role is to give them reassurance and support.  Do not enter into a post-race analysis - this will be done by the coach as and when he/she feels the swimmer will be most receptive

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