Fishguard Flyers is a competitive swimming club. Our young swimmers are encouraged to compete in accordance with their age range and ability. The following is a list of galas the club attends each year in which swimmers are encouraged to enter. There are also some guidelines on what to expect and how to behave.
Usually held in October. All squad swimmers are strongly encouraged to enter – swim as many events as you can, especially 200m events, which are used for County squad selections. Times obtained at these championships will enable entry to other licensed meets throughout the year.
Club Target Meets
Typically the Sub-Regionals in December, Regionals in February and some other selected meets in South-West Wales
Swimmers are strongly encouraged to enter these meets, under the guidance of the coach. Swim as many events as you can, especially 200m events, which are used for County squad selections. Different meets will have different qualifying times and swimmers will receive a letter from the club indicating which events they have qualified for. Times obtained at these events will enable entry to other licensed meets throughout the year.
County Target Meets
Typically the Winter Nationals in December, Age Groups at Easter and Summer Nationals in July/August.
These meets are entered as part of a combined county team. The entry times for these can be quite challenging. All eligible swimmers should enter to maintain their squad status and any place in the county squads – under the guidance of the coach, swim as many events as you can, especially 200m events, which are used for County squad selections. Times obtained at these championships will enable entry to other licensed meets throughout the year.
A county swim hat should be worn at these meets (only).
The club competes at various open meets throughout the season. Please see the competition calendar for more details. Swimmers are not usually permitted to compete at any meets not on the calendar.
When meets are licensed they are given a level. The level of a gala indicates the standard of the qualifying times.
- A level 3 meet may not require entry times (such as the Pembrokeshire County Championships and No Times Gala) and will usually have upper cut off times so that faster swimmers may not enter.
- A level 2 meet will have quite difficult qualification times, our swimmers are unlikely to exceed the upper cut off.
- A level 1 meet is the top level of open meet and it is an achievement to qualify for events.
- Beyond this there are National and International events.
- Occasionally, galas refer to AA, A and B standards. These are a slightly different way of splitting swimmers into divisions – sometimes a meet operates with an easy B division and a harder AA division within the same races, and the winners of each section get medals.
Teams are selected by the fixture secretary and/or club coaches with the aim of entering a competitive team, while including as many squad swimmers as possible. In general, it is a friendly competition against other clubs.
Swimmers should not bring electronic games or books to these, generally short, galas, but should rather be supporting their team mates.
Your first gala?
If it is your first gala, don’t worry or panic. The coaches and team managers will be there to guide you though the day and help you all they can. If you have any problems – just ask.
It is a good idea to have packed your bag the night before, with everything you might need. Here is a checklist, which should be useful to you. Please don’t pack glass bottles or any other breakable items.
- Swimmers should have EVERYTHING they need for the session in a bag on poolside with them
- At least two swimming costumes/pairs of jammers
- Goggles (plus a spare pair)
- Club hat. A Fishguard Flyers hat should always be worn during races when representing Fishguard
- 2 towels
- Deck/pool shoes to wear at all times for safety reasons
- Clothes to keep warm on the poolside – hat, extra tee-shirt, tracksuit etc
- Food of sufficient quantity to last the day
- Snack food with lots of carbohydrates and low in fat
- Drink in a suitable container – at least two litres (preferably water) – for a whole day
- Money in case of emergency
- Entertainment – Music – I-Pod – (to help relax or psych you up), reading book, games console, pen and paper or other pastime. Please note that all items are brought at your own risk. Some poolsides are very wet, eg. Llanelli, and are not suitable for electronics
- Your winning /swimming face
Note: Please ensure that your name is on all items
Arrival At A Swimming Gala
When you arrive at a swimming pool for a gala, make sure you do so in plenty of time (ideally 30 minutes before your warm-up time). Report to the coach/team manager that you have arrived. It is important that your coach sees you before the time that you have been told to attend.
Check Out The Pool
Check out the pool complex layout and familiarise yourself with the important places you will need to go during the day. For example, toilets, marshalling area, changing rooms, cafe, etc.
At any meet there is often a team coach and one or more team managers. The coach will brief swimmers before their race, watch the race, record split times and give feedback afterwards. The team manager will advise swimmers when to warm up, when to go to marshalling and when to warm down and eat. The team manager will be in charge of the team and will ensure that everyone knows what they are doing.
Check which warm up you are in and be on time for it. When you warm up make sure you get the most out of it. Don’t stop and talk to your friends as you will have plenty of time to do this throughout the day. Your coach will tell you what warm up to do. You must keep going and warm up your muscles properly to avoid injury. All swimmers should do warm ups and perform stretches as guided by the coach. The team manager will advise swimmers which lane to use – swimmers should stay in the lane allocated.
Cheering For Others
Do not expect others to cheer for you if you do not cheer for them. We all like to be encouraged, but recognise that individuals may do this in different ways. At busy meets swimmers may need time out to prepare for their own race mentally, but should support their friends. With a smaller team it is good for all the swimmers to support each other. There is nothing better to improve your performance than seeing others do well. Don’t just sit down and stare into space – enjoy yourself!
Where Should You Be?
Swimmers are expected to sit with the team and NOT with parents in the spectator area. Please don’t wander off without speaking to the team manager first – ask before going to the toilet or changing rooms. Swimmers should not wander off to talk to parents during a session unless given permission by the team manager. The coach or team manager is responsible for you at a swimming gala, so you must not leave the building without permission. After your last race in a session, you may be given permission to go join your parents and take a break. But, it is good to cheer for others from your Club.
When you are representing the club, or training with the club, you are expected to behave properly. Please make sure you are familiar with the code of conduct. This applies to all representatives of the club – swimmers, volunteers and parents.
Please could parents help the coaches/team managers by taking note of the following:
- Parents are not allowed on poolside at ANY time during a competition
- Parents should not approach the coach during a session – but may have opportunity to speak to them at a later stage
- Parents should not approach officials or meet organisers, or enter the meet office, at any time. All queries/issues should be directed to the team manager who is authorised to deal with these situations
- Parents are asked to sit in the spectator area (at least half way up at open access pools such as WNP and Cardiff International)
- Parents are asked to ensure that swimmers arrive and are ready well in advance of all warm ups
- Parents are asked to ensure that swimmers have all the correct equipment for each session, including a club hat
- Parents are reminded that the use of inappropriate or abusive language, bullying, harassment, discrimination or physical violence by swimmers or parents will not be tolerated at any meet
Coaches and team managers reserve the right to withdraw swimmers from all remaining events at a meet (without refund) should either the swimmer or parents not cooperate with the guidelines above. Persistent failure to comply, or serious incidents, will result in disciplinary procedure.