Hints & Tips

Attending Galas

Attending a Club Gala for the first time can be a daunting experience for both swimmer and parent. The tips and hints below should help to make that first gala a positive and successful one.

The information below is aimed at helping you to get the best out of yourself on a race day, and to provide vital details about what to have and what to do when you are chosen to represent Dereham Otters Swimming Club. Preparation is an important factor before a gala. All the training you do will go a long way to improve your stamina, strength and technique, but there is no way you can or will perform to your best if you are dehydrated or have not stretched properly beforehand.

The following is a general guide of what to take to a competition. Of course you do not have to stick exactly to the list as every swimmer takes different things.

  • Two Towels
  • Trunks/Costumes
  • Goggles including spares
  • Club Swim Hat including a spare
  • Club T-shirt
  • Warm Top and Club Jacket
  • Shorts
  • Track Suit Trousers
  • Socks
  • Trainers
  • Plenty of drinks (not fizzy)
  • Pool-side shoes (mandatory at some pools)

Remember for safety reasons NO glass bottles or cans are allowed on poolside.

When you arrive at a competition venue, stick with other team members and sit poolside with your team when you have got changed. It is a good idea to bring a book with you, or something to do, as sometimes competitions can last a long time. Have some high glycaemic index snacks or a sports drink in your bag for energy boosts between events. DO NOT BRING ANY FOOD ITEMS CONTAINING NUTS. Some of our swimmers may have allergies.

When at a competition it is advisable to wear poolside clothes between races. This will keep your muscles warm, ready for your race and may help you to swim better. You should keep your pool side clothes on when you go up for your race and take them off during the race before yours. It is preferred that you wear the Club Team kit on the poolside.

Senior swimmers are advised to take more than one pair of trunks/costume and change into a dry pair after the warm-up and each race. Why? This is because when your trunks/costume is wet it takes heat (muscular energy) from your body to dry them. This is the last thing you want when you have an important race to swim.

The team manager will tell you which events you are swimming in. Sometimes you may be asked to swim stroke that is not your best stroke. Do your best, as there will be a good reason for this decision. Pay particular attention to your starts, finishes and turns. Always be ready to start your race as no-one will wait for you if you aren’t there or have forgotten your goggles.

Remember you are part of a team, so cheer on your team-mates when they swim and always create a good impression as you are there representing your club.

Club team wear is available from Birds of Dereham. Follow this link to view current products available.

Important Information for Parents

A few tips for parents whose child/children have been picked to swim in a team gala.

  • Check the notice board for the time and venue for the gala, including the time that the team bus leaves
  • Please inform the Team Manager if you intend to use your own transport
  • Leave in ample time to get to the gala, it is important for your child to have a warm up swim
  • Remember a pen to tick off the events on your programme
  • Galas last between 2 – 3hrs on average
  • Be prepared to bring a drink (Just in case the machines are out of order)
  • There will always be an admission charge averaging between £1.50 – £3.00 (In house galas occasionally charged)
  • Most galas will have a raffle
  • Some pools have limited seating areas, so you maybe required to stand all evening (Please take this into account if you need to bring along small siblings)
  • Cheering on your child or the club will always be appreciated