Beginners Guide

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Team Galas

Swimmers are encouraged to check the notice board and website for team selection. The team list is posted three weeks prior to the gala. Swimmers should tick their names to confirm availability. City of Hereford SC kit must be worn i.e. trunks/costume/squad t-shirt/swim cap.

Four Seasons Galas and Nuneaton League competition provide opportunities for youngsters just starting out. National Arena League is the highest level club competition in the country. We also take part in the Wyvern league which allows more swimmers an opportunity to support their club.

An annual inter-school gala and English Schools Swimming Association events allow the club to promote swimming for Herefordshire Schools.


Open Meets

Swimming competitions are usually broken down into four levels:

  • Level 1 - These are long course meets that are focused at those swimmers achieving Regional and National Times. They are the events where you are likely to see international swimmers in action. Age Group and Elite squad swimmers are encouraged to enter these meets.
  • Level 2 - These are the highest level of short course meet and must have a lower qualifying time. They are focused at those who are aiming to achieve Regional and National Qualifying Times, or to get swimmers familiar with racing long course . Swimmers who are at this level are encouraged to enter these meets.</>
  • Level 3 - These are either short course (swum in 25m pools) or long course (swum in 50m pools) meets which are run throughout the year, including our own Hereford Open Meet. They are relatively easy meets to gain qualifying times for and sometimes there is no lower cut off time. These are for swimmers aiming towards County and Regional Qualifying Times. Swimmers who fit this level are encouraged to enter these competitions
  • Level 4 - Lower level meets which include Club Championships and Novice Open Meets


Other types of meet are:


  • County Championships – These championships are held once a year over three weekends towards the end of January for all clubs within the Worcester County catchment area. To compete in this competition you must have achieved ‘County Qualifying Times’ (Herefordshire is in Worcester County for this purpose).
  • Regional Championships – These are split into Age Group Championships (under 14 year old boys and under 13 year old girls) usually held in June and Youth Group Championships (for the older swimmers) held in May (Long Course) or November (Short Course).
  • National Championships – are held once a year usually in Sheffield and selection is based upon the top swimmers per age group, based upon times recorded during a qualification window.


Every swimmer is encouraged to enter the annual club championships. This is an opportunity to achieve times that swimmers need to enter Open Meets. 

All 9 year olds are encouraged to compete in Club Championships because this is in line with Worcester County policy.


Meet Information

information on the club's competition calendar can be found here. The Club chooses a selection of different meets to ensure that all levels of age and ability within the Club can have the opportunity to enjoy competitive swimming. We take part in a number of team competitions and would ask swimmers to support these. For Arena League and Nuneaton League swimmers selected to represent the club are expected to make themselves available.. The responsible coach will post the team selection in advance on both this website and also the club notice boards.

Each competition will have details on when the meet is, warm up times, events, qualifying times and a most importantly the closing date for entries. The closing date is very important as we need time to process the entries before sending them off to the meet organiser.
Please read the meet conditions carefully - this will help explain things you may later question.



You will need to print off the entry form for the meet, which will be published on the website against the relevant competition.

You should first of all discuss which events you should enter with your coach to ensure that the right focus and balance of events are selected. 

Once the swimmer has selected the events you will need to input entry times to enter. The swimmer’s Personal Best time must be entered accurately; this could be a short course 25m time or 50m long course. Some Open Meets have indicator times which are minimum entry times (when applying check the qualifying times against the meet pack which is also available on the website - against the relevant competition).

It is important to enter the swimmer's Personal Best (PB) time that is appropriate to the course length, i.e. short course PB's for short course competitions. However, it is possible to convert a PB time from short course to long course - which is an acceptable alternative if the swimmer does not have a qualification time for that course type. Please visit the Club's own Time Converter for more information and online conversion tool.

Swimmers should enter a variety of events and we encourage them to enter different strokes and distances. We encourage rounded skills so entering an IM is desirable, and from JP and above it would be expected that swimmers enter either the 200 or 400IM and 200 or 400 FC. 

Make sure that entry times are written clearly on the entry sheets and speak to your coach if you would like to enter an event which you do not have a time for.


On The Day

Travel to Open Meets will be by personal means/arrangement. It is important to know what times the warm ups begin and aim to arrive half an hour before this time to get changed and find the rest of the team. There is usually limited space for swimmers so the earlier you arrive the better space you will have to sit in.

Make sure you are familiar of the building – swimmers will sit with the team and coaches and parents/spectators will usually sit in a different area. Make note of the catering facilities it can be a long day and both swimmers and parents will need to keep fueled.

Swimmers are expected to stay with the team and follow directions of the coaches in attendance at all times. They must ask if they are going off to see parents/spectators.

There will be coaches and team managers in attendance at all club supported meets, they will prepare the swimmers for their warm ups and races.

What to bring:

  • Two swimming costumes and a warm up swim suit
  • Goggles and a spare pair
  • Two Towels – one to keep you warm and one to dry off afterwards
  • Compulsory Club Kit – consisting of at least a dry side and pool side T-Shirts and Swimming Hat
  • Food to last the day or sessions you are attending (poolside – not with parents!)
  • At least two litres of water/squash and suitable sports drinks. NO FIZZY DRINKS
  • Snack foods high in carbohydrates
  • Music – iPod, etc
  • Reading book/homework
  • Please note that Phones are not allowed poolside or in changing areas (they must be left in bags if swimmers need them to contact parents)



Swimming meets can be long and hot for parents, so please make sure that you are also prepared correctly:

  • There are usually programmes on sale at the entry desk – pick up one so you will be able to see when your child is swimming.
  • Make sure that your child is with the group and knows where you will be in case of emergency.
  • Bring plenty of food/drink to last the day – can be a long day sat watching swimming
  • Bring a note book/note paper to record your swimmers achievements
  • Must stay in the designated spectators area and not cross over into the swimmers/coaches area. Please note parents are not allowed poolside or in the officials’ areas at swimming competitions
  • Must supply their swimmer with the correct club kit as per the uniform policy



Where they are available, a results report will be posted on the news section of the website. In all cases the results will be uploaded to Hy-Tek, which is the club’s recording system for all swimmers’ official times. The link to Hy-Tek can be found under the 'useful links' section at the top of the page. This can include time trial results.

Official times from licensed meets are also uploaded onto the ASA web site under the Rankings and Results section. There is also a link from the club website to this location.

It is useful to keep a record of your child’s times as these will be needed to enter other meets – you need to have the most up to date record of your swimmers achievements.