A swimming gala checklist and tips.
Items To Take To A Gala
Get yourselves prepared before you go to the gala
The night before the gala is the time to pack YOUR OWN bag, not your parents. If you get to the pool to find something is missing and you haven’t packed your own bag, then more fool you. It is your responsibility. Get all that you need together, warm up and race costumes/trunks, towels and food; enough for the whole day.
What you need!
Racing costumes/trunks should fit you like a second skin, which means for the girls, you should not be able to pull up the straps two or three inches above the shoulders!! Boys’ trunks should be small at the sides and tight fitting. No baggy bottoms, as these will cause drag which will slow you down. Both boys and girls need to take separate warm up costumes/trunks to the ones they will be racing in.
Club tracksuit / t-shirt should be worn. If you don’t have club tracksuit, please wear black bottoms with your club t- shirt. Jeans are not recommended. Spare “G” t-shirts, if you only have one club t-shirt, bring enough spare T-shirts to last the day. You may want to bring shorts to wear over your swimming costume in between races.
Club hat should be worn at all galas, by both boys and girls. Whatever gala you compete in, you are there representing your club and if you are all wearing the same hat, it indicates the team you are proud to be part of. These are green with the club logo “G” in white on the side.
Club hats and t-shirts will be available to buy from the Team Manager on duty at each gala. T-Shirts cost €10 and “G” swim hats cost €5.
Poolside shoes must be worn. Most poolside floors can be very cold and you loose very valuable heat through you feet, therefore it is essential to wear poolside shoes…and make sure they are clean! Do not leave poolside without wearing poolside shoes.
Goggles. Take at least two pairs of goggles with you. Before you go down to the start of the race, make sure your goggles are fitting properly. Try not to fiddle and keep playing with the straps while you are waiting to be called. If you keep changing the fitting of them, you run the risk of them not fitting as you want them to, or worse, them breaking!
It would be preferred that Game-boys, Nintendo’s, MP3 players etc., were not brought on to poolside. And mobile phones are NOT allowed. Try cheering your team-mate’s instead, likewise for disappearing, stay and cheer on your team-mates! The coaches do not mind if you chat with friends from other clubs, but save it for break-time and after the gala. You come to a gala to compete and as such you are expected to sit with your own team, not someone else’s.
What to eat
Carbohydrates are needed for long galas; Bread and Pasta, etc…all low fat. Fat is hard to digest and therefore best avoided on race day.
Take plenty of water and fruit squashes. Fizzy drinks should not be drunk and chocolate should not be eaten until you have finished swimming for the day.
- Enough warm up AND racing costumes/trunks
- Club Track suit
- Club t-shirt plus spares (predominantly orange)
- Towels…and plenty of them!!
- Poolside shoes
- Goggles…At least two pairs
- Healthy Food / snacks to last the whole gala
- Plenty of water.
- Leave early to get to pool on time
- Positive attitude
Remember, when you get on the block the most important things to have with you are a positive attitude and the confidence that you are going to do a good swim. Think negatively and you have lost before you have dived in!!! Go out, swim and enjoy!!!
WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU GET TO A GALA.
When you arrive at the venue (which should be at least 15 minutes before warm-up is due to start)
- “CHECK IN”….Let your Coach(es) and Team Managers know that you are present . . .
. . . and check that you know which events you are swimming.
Go to the Changing Rooms, change into your swimming gear, and put your shirt on…and poolside flipflops.
- DON’T LEAVE ANYTHING IN THE CHANGING ROOMS.
LEAVE ALL YOUR VALUABLES AT HOME OR WITH YOUR PARENTS.
- Take your bag containing all your clothes – with towel(s)/ drinks bottle(s)/ energy bar(s) easy to get at, and go to the area which has been allocated as the base for your club. IT IS IMPORTANT TO SIT WITH YOUR TEAM. This may be in the in the Spectators’ Gallery. If you are based around the small pools, you may find it easier to take your bag for your parents to look after.
- You will probably feel (too) warm. However, you must try and keep warm as you will swim better if your muscles are warm. Watch older Swimmers before their races. You should see them doing warm – up exercises and stretching for about ten minutes before each swim.
- If based in the Spectators’ Gallery, always TAKE YOUR TOWEL and HAVE SOME FOOTWEAR ON when you leave the Spectator Area to warm-up or swim. Leave your FOOTWEAR & TOWEL near the bottom of the steps. After swimming/warming up you will have to DRY OFF and PUT YOUR FOOTWEAR BACK ON before you are allowed back to your seat.
- LISTEN to the announcer who will tell you when and where you are to assemble for your race(s).
- Follow the instructions of your COACHES and TEAM MANAGERS who are supervising swimmers on the poolside.
DO NOT LEAVE THE PREMISES UNLESS YOU “CHECK OUT” WITH YOUR COACH/TEAM MANAGER