Swimming for my Club
Billy is making progress with his swimming and has had more news. His club wants him to swim in competition but he’s not sure whether he wants to. Hear what he has to say…
"I’ve been selected to swim for my Club at an Inter-Club friendly gala at our local pool. My name was on the notice board at Club Night asking me to tick the list if I wanted to swim. I think I do, but I’m a bit nervous as I’ve not done anything like that before. My Mum wants me to do it – she had ticked the list before even asking me.
But I’ve got lots of questions."
What do I have to swim?
The team will be selected by the Club and they will decide who has to swim which races – but they will only ask you to swim events that they know you can do. It may just be a leg of a relay – where four of you swim one length each as part of a team. You will be told when you get there what races you are in.
Do I have to dive in?
Only if you have been able to show your teachers that you can do it safely
"I’d die if I had to dive in off the starting blocks"
If you haven’t practised this at Club already and the teachers think you can do it safely, you will not be asked to use the starting blocks. You will need to have reached the standard of the ASA’s Competitive Start Award before being allowed to dive off the blocks.
What’s a warm-up?
A warm-up is the chance to swim in the pool you are going to be racing in – try swimming the strokes you will be swimming in the event and if the race you are swimming is more than one length practice your turns. See how slippery the walls are & remember to check the where the lines are on the bottom of the pool.
Can I sit with my Mum?
You need to sit on the poolside with other members of your team and your friends – it’s great fun cheering on the other team members.
Who will look after me?
The Club will have Team Managers who will look after all the team and make sure you know when your race is and which end of the pool you need to go to. Don’t worry – you don’t have to remember.
What do those people in white trousers do?
They are the officials that run the event – the starter, the judges that decide if you have done everything correctly & where you came and the timekeepers who record how long you took. You will get used to the times thing – it’s a way of knowing how fast you swim and you can compare one race one week to another next week. If you swim faster than you have ever swum before it’s a pb or personal best – that’s good!
What do I need to take?
- It’s no different to a Club Night really and it’s cool to look the part:
- Your costume (or maybe two because accidents can happen – things split or the string comes out)
- At least two towels – one to use during the event and one to dry yourself with at the end
- At least two club hats – they always split at the wrong time
- Maybe look at getting a ‘shammy’ – they are good for drying you off between races
- A Club tracksuit if you have one or a club t shirt & shorts
- Some flip flops or something to keep your feet warm
- Plenty to drink – a large bottle (not glass) of water or weak squash will do – nothing fizzy
It’s best not to eat too much between races – wait till after the event.
Can I go home when I’ve finished my races?
You will be expected to stay until the end of the event and cheer on your team
Don’t be afraid to ask
If there is anything you are not sure about – just ask any of the Team Managers – but try and pick a quiet time – they sometimes get a bit stressed!
So did Billy enjoy it?
"I really had great fun on the poolside with my friends from Club – it was a bit scary at first, until you worked it all out. I was in event three so I didn’t have time to worry. The Team Manager told me where to go, what stroke I had to swim – mine was front crawl - and how far I had to swim. Easy. I don’t know where I came but I wasn’t last. It didn’t seem to matter, they just asked me to do my best.
It was good seeing the older swimmers swim their events – will I ever be that good? They were really friendly too – one of them even took me to the start for my race so I knew where to go. I had another race at the end so spent most of the time cheering the team on – could hardly speak when I got home. Mum thought that was good!
I really enjoyed it – when’s the next one – I will soon be ready to tackle the Olympics!"