Your First Gala

After a few galas, nerves will be much less for both competitor and supporter but the first ones can be daunting for most swimmers, whatever their age. This brief guide will give you some information on what to enter when you first start swimming. and how events work so you can be prepared on the day.

The club have a competition calendar which lists all of the competitions (also called galas or meets) that we will be attending. These events are listed with a designated squad in the target squad column.

Entry packs for the competitions are loaded to this page You will need to read the entry pack for your chosen event as the rules vary for each event

For some events you will need official qualifying times

Each event will have an internal closing date shown so that we can process your entry and enter as a club

Each event will have a contact who you can ask for help or you can ask your coach or email to

Details of the Team competitions we compete in throughout the year can be found here.

If you are selected for a team even, your name will be found on the team sheet distributed via e-mail on the club mailing list. You will need to confirm to the coach that you can attend.

My first event

Many Team galas take place on a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon. Warm for an evening event might start at 5.30pm and last for 45 minutes, with the event starting at 6.15pm. The Cambridge Coach who is at the gala will let all swimmers know what events they are competing in when they arrive at the pool. The gala might end about 9.00pm.

Coach transport may be provided by the Club to a team gala. If space is available parents or supporters can travel on the coach. There is a small charge for all members.

If a swimmer intends to travel by coach to the gala, but return by car, it is essential that this is communicated to the Coach before the swimmer leaves the gala.

Make sure that the swimmer has enough to drink, with small amounts of food to eat after warm up or between events. When the gala finishes it is essential that a meal is taken, so send it with the swimmer. The Club coach may stop on the return journey for some fast food, so send money if that is desirable.

At all day events, such as the County Championships, which might have a morning, afternoon and evening session, sophisticated meal planning is definitely required! It is suggested that you do not rely on the catering facilities at any pool. These can be very busy and may not have the selection that you would hope for. You may only have a short time window to take a meal and then allow for digestion before the next warm ups. If in any doubt take more than you need.

Parkside Pool has probably the best spectator facilities at any pool in our area. Some pools do not have any seating other than plastic chairs along poolside. Cushions are therefore helpful accessories.

At competitions for individuals, such as the County Championships, each competitor will need to either sign in for all races, or the conditions may require the coach to withdraw those who are not swimming. If you are unable to attend it is important to let the coach know. Usually the information will be clearly stated in the rules of the competition as to which procedure is being used

If you need guidance on filling in entry forms for competitions please ask !

Good Luck!