Shepshed Swimming Club

The need to know guide to gala swimming...

So you've been picked for a gala…..

Please keep an eye on the notice board for team sheets for galas. There is a fixtures list on the website so you know in advance of any galas coming up. If you see you have been picked, please check whether or not you can make it ASAP and indicate accordingly. Even if you can’t make it, it is VERY important to let us know so we have plenty of time to fill you place. Please ask around if you need help getting there as someone may be able to help and give you a lift. If you have any questions please ask someone on poolside who will be able to help you/direct you to someone who will be able to.


Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before and eat well before hand (pasta is always good for energy!) Being well prepared is vital to ensure you swim to the best of your ability. Check you know where the gala is, and what time warm up is. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get there, and let someone know in advance if you know you will be late. If for any reason you are unable to swim having ticked your name, please let the coach/team manager know as soon as you can to give as much time as possible to get someone else to swim.

What to bring

  • Swimming costume/trunks and a spare is always useful.
  • Goggles and a spare pair – everyone should have 2 pairs of goggles, you never know when they might break!
  • A Shepshed Swimming Club hat, remember swimming hats are for girls and boys, and let everyone know what team you’re with as well as making you faster!
  • A drink, and plenty of it! Something like water/squash or a sports drink if you prefer. This must be in a plastic bottle.
  • Towel
  • Plenty of energy and your best cheering voice!!

At the gala

  • Arrive in plenty of time, not just as warm up is starting! When you get to the pool, get changed and report to the team manager so they know you are there.
  • Get yourself a club shirt and wait to be told what races you are swimming in. A steward will let you know what races you are in so you can write them on your hand so you don’t forget!
  • There will be a warm up, be sure to listen out for when it is your turn. The warm up is to get used to the pool and make sure you can remember how to swim. You should always start with some front crawl to loosen up before doing any thing else. Try and do some of the warm up in the strokes you will be racing in so you can get used to swimming them in the pool, i.e. practice some backstroke if that’s what you’re racing.
  • Try not to stop in the warm up! There is nothing more frustrating than watching a queue of swimmers waiting to turn. You have plenty of opportunities to practice turns in training, so in the warm up just KEEP SWIMMING!! The coach/team manager will let you know when warm up has finish, at the end there will be a chance to do a sprint / diving practice, so make sure you check before you go and sit down.
  • Once the gala has started
  • There will be stewards to help you on poolside and tell you when to go up for your races, but try and follow what is happening yourself so you are ready when they tell you.
  • Don’t go wondering off anywhere, during the gala you should be poolside at all times. If you need to go to the toilet make sure you let a steward know.
  • Whilst you are not racing, please support your team mates. Hearing their name whilst they’re swimming may give them the extra burst to beat the swimmer in the lane next to them, so go and stand at the shallow end (so long as you’re allowed) and cheer your team mates in their races, as they will for you.
  • Remember you are representing your club so be on your best behaviour.

When it’s your race

  • When you are asked to go and get ready for your race, it is time to calm down and think about what you are about to do. Make sure you know what stroke it is and how many lengths, or if it’s a relay, what position you are going in. Think through the race in your mind so you are prepared and fired up for your race.
  • To start your race, you get up on the block (or in the water if you’re doing backstroke) after the referee has blown their whistle. Once the                starter has said take your marks, make sure you are still until the beeper goes.
  • Once you are swimming, just remember the simple things we keep nagging you about in training to get those extra milliseconds, and possibly        places; STREAMLINE, fly kicks off the wall (in the appropriate races), fast turns, head down no breathing last 5m in FC.
  • Remember to swim fast all the way into the wall, don’t slow down before you get there!!
  • After the race there will be a whistle to let you know you can get out of the water. Go and see the coach after your race for any feedback, and find out your time.

What happens when you've finished all your races??

  • If you finish your races before the end of the gala, this doesn't mean you can go and get changed straight away. Please stay and support the rest of your team until the end of the gala. A gala is a team event, and so the whole team should be present at all times. Put your T-shirt on and go to the shallow end to carry on cheering.
  • After the gala the team manager or coach might want to speak to the team, so please don’t leave early unless you absolutely have to; in which case please let the team manager/stewards know.
  • The last few races are usually the open relays and can be the most exciting races of the night!! You might even learn something from watching them so please stay until the end!

After the gala

  • Make sure you have everything you came with, and any rubbish has been put in the bin. It is not fair on the stewards/team manager/coaches to be waiting behind at the end to tidy up the rubbish after the gala.
  • At training, think about your race and any feedback you've been given. I.e. if you forgot to streamline, make sure you streamline as tight as             you can off of every wall in training to get into the habit.
  • Keep an eye on the website for a write up on the gala. 

Important contact details

  • If you have any questions/problems please speak to the Team Manager, contact details on link below:
  • Contact Us


  • Please come and support your child as often as you can. This is your chance to see the results of the hard work they have been putting in at training. The more people we have in the stands, the louder the cheering and the faster the swimmers swim! Alternatively if you are available         to help, either poolside stewarding, or on the table at home galas,or away gala let us know.