Frequently Asked Questions

Club Restructure Questions

When will the new squads come into force?

We will be moving to the new squad structure starting in September 2013.
This will give us time to adjust to the new squad assignments and to discuss any differences between assignments and aspirations and to settle into the new system.
We understand that where swimmers have other activities, they will potentially have a clash and so giving this notice will also allow time to organise our swimmers activities around their new time table.

How do I know what squad will I be in?

The squads will be publicised at the end of the Easter break. This assignment will be made based on our understanding of each swimmers training and competitive standard and potential.
We have 110 swimmers and clearly there will be swimmers which we will place in a different place to where you expect to be. We will have the summer term to talk about this, giving a chance to explain our reasons for your assignment and for you to explain your reasons for a change.
This will allow us to settle on an agreed plan for September when this new system comes into place.

How will Squad Moves work in the new system?

Squad moves will operate in the same way as they have up to now, with an end of term coaches meeting to assess our swimmers aand agree possible movements between squads, agreements and notifications ahead of the new term.
The difference, of course, is that where we currently move up a squad at a time, we will be moving up from junior to senior squads and also between Club and Performance streams. We will make these moves with a little more consultation with our swimmers when moving between Performance and Club streams in order to ensure we understand the reasons for the moves.
If you feel that you ought to move between Club and Performance (either way) then please talk to your coaches and discuss what you need to do to influence this move. The important thing for all our swimmers is to train regularly, train hard and compete well if you choose to compete and we will assess these attributes during our assessment process.

If I am in a Club Squad, can I still enter Competitions?

Definitely! All of our swimmers are able to enter any competition for which they have qualifying times with no restrictions, including selection for team galas which will be made on suitable times as always.
We always encourage our swimmers to compete and nothing about our restructure has been designed to in any way curtail this. All swimmers in all squads should compete in Club Championships as a minimum as this will ensure we have up to date personal best times for our swimmers to aid competitive qualifications and selections.


What is the difference between a Gala and an Open Meet?

A Gala is a team event where we compete against other teams to score points towards our total.
At open competitions, each swimmer enters as an individual, competing against other swimmers with similar times to themselves. We enter these as a team so that we cheer each other on in our event but there are no team points.

What is an L1, L2 or L3 Meet (also A,B and C Grade)?

Swimming competitions, galas and open meets are categorised as L1, L2 or L3. These set the entry criteria and are designed to allow swimmers to compete against other swimmers of similar swimming ability.
L3 meets will have No Faster Than times, upper limits so that quicker swimmers cannot enter.
L2 have both upper and lower limits so that a swimmer must be faster than the lower limit but not quicker than the upper limit in order to qualify.
L1 meets have lower limits but allow any swimmer faster than this to enter. Our County Championships are L1 meetings.
A, B and C grade relate closely to L1, L2 and L3 and can be regarded as the same.

What does NFT or NST mean?

NFT stands for No Faster Than and NST for No Slower Than. NFT is an upper limit so any swimmer whos personal best time (PB) is faster than this is not allowed to enter that competition. Similarly if a swimmer is slower than the No Slower Than time then they are not allowed to enter.
Where a meet defines only a qualifying time, this is actually an NST.

What is a Consideration Time?

When a competition sets a Qualifying Time (NST), consideration times are also sometimes published. If a swimmer is faster than the Consideration Time then they are allowed to enter the competition. Consideration times are set as a % slower than the Qualifying Times.
However, if the meet is over subscribed and swimmers need to be rejected, those with Consideration Times will be cut first before swimmers who have achieved the actual Qualifying Times. It is a way of ensuring meets are fully subscribed.

Why did my entry get rejected?

The ASA stipulate that no swimming competition can include more than 7.5hrs of actual swimming in one day.
When all entries are entered into the meet computer system it calculates the time it would take to run the competition and when this is longer than allowed, swimmers are rejected in order to ensure the meet fits the 7.5hr limit.
Choosing which swimmers to reject is somewhat manual but generally. the slower swimmers in each age group in each event are rejected. We are notified of rejections when we get the confirmed entries and will inform you of the rejections at the same time as your successful entries.

How do I know what events I can enter?

We publish the meet information for all swimming competitions we enter. These contain all the information required to work out which age group you are in and therefore the entry criteria for your age and events.
We also produce individual entry letters containing the list of all the events you have qualified for and this is what you need to send in with your entry fee. Please watch the closing dates for these meetings.
See Competition/Future Events for examples of entries currently in progress.

What is a P.B.?

A P.B. is a Personal Best Time. It is your fastest time ever swum in that event. These are what you will use to enter competitions and so it is important that you compete regularly in order to have the opportunity to improve these times and increase the number of events you can enter in the future.
In order to set a personal best time you need to enter our Club Championships each Spring and Autumn where you can enter without a time if you do not already have one.
See Competition/Swimmer Times for your current personal best times.

What should I take to a competition?

You need to take your swimming trunks / costume, your favourite goggles and a spare pair, a towel and poolside clothes such as a Club polo shirt, shorts or tracksuit bottoms and indoor shoes which you need for walking around the site.
You will need change for the lockers to put your swimming bag away safely and possibly a small bag for poolside for a book, ipod, etc and your food and drink.
You need plenty of drinks and high carbohydrate food such as pasta, muffins, sandwiches. Avoid high salt and fatty foods, chocolate will melt in a pool area and is too fatty for swimming food.
The main rule with equipment is to only use in competition what you are familiar with, no new kit if you can help it.

What food should I take to eat at a competition?

Drink is the most important thing to take to the swimming pool as a dehydrated swimmer is a slow swimmer!
Carbohydrates are best for a competition day, providing slow burn energy through the day. Some swimmers also take some high sugar bars, glucose or fruit bars are popular. These will be of use half an hour before the swimmers event so that they get an energy boost at the right time.
Avoid fatty foods such as chocolate and heavy meat which digests slowly and can cause lethargy.

What equipment / clothing do I need for a competition?

Swimmers often have special costumes just for competition, there are a large number of options for race wear. These are often expensive and do not last long so should never be used for training apart from the first time you wear the new suit to get used to it. It is perfectly acceptable to wear your normal training costume for competition and most swimmers do.
Take your normal goggles to a competition and take a spare pair, ideally identical. Also take two hats, if you wear them, as they can tear easily especially just before a race.
You will not need to take any of your training floats or fins.

What do I do with my valuable possessions at a competition?

Lockers are normally available at the pools we compete in. You can bring a small poolside bag for your food, drink and other items. Your coach will usually have a bag into which you can safely store mobile electronic devices.
We would recommend only taking electronic devices poolside if you are going to be there for a long time and only take them if you think you will be responsible enough to look after them properly.

What are the Club Championships?

We run our Club Champs twice each year in the Spring and Autumn. These are for our swimming club members only and are the main source of our Personal Best Times. You will be competing against your friends in our club only.
There are no entry criteria for Club Champs, if you do not have a PB already then you can enter NT for No Time and we will place you in a heat with swimmers we think will be similar speed as you.
All swimmers are expected to enter our Club Champs as this is the main source of our swimmers PBs and therefore for your opportunity to compete in open meets and to be selected for our Gala teams.

What should I eat before a competition?

A good performance at competition starts the day before. A good nights rest is essential and so is the correct food.
High Carbohydrate meals are perfect the night before a competition, Tuna and Pasta Bake, Baked Potato, starchy foods. Avoid fatty foods which might disturb your sleep and ensure you eat early enough before your early night in preparation for the competition.
Remember, you train hard all week, treat the night before a competition as training and do it properly.

I won my race, why did I not get a medal?

In an open meet, a race is actually a heat. All the swimmers who have entered an event (e.g. 100m Freestyle) swim in groups of 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the number of lanes available). These groups of 6 or 8 swimmers are the heats and involve swimmers with similar entry times regardless of age.
So you might be in a heat with swimmers of different ages and therefore in different age groups. Once all the heats have been completed, the swimmers are ordered by their competition time in age groups and the fastest swimmers in each age group get a medal.
It is an achievement to win your heat if you can but the most important thing is to always try to improve your personal best time each time you swim.

How can I check whether my entry was successful?

Entries for Open Meets are not always successful due to the limit on the number of hours allowed for a competition in a day.
Once all the swimmers have been entered into the meeting system, swimmers will either be accepted or rejected and we receive a summary of our clubs entries normally a couple of weeks before the actual event.
Once we receive notification of our entries, the information will be posted on the website under Competition/Future Events including all accepted and rejected entries. These will also be sent to you via Email.

What type of swimming trunks / costume should I wear for competition?

There are some very expensive and specialised swimwear out there which are designed to reduce drag through the water and improve a swimmers performance and ultimately achieve a faster time. The improvements are small compared with wearing your normal training swimwear but this high performance kit looks very good and can improve a swimmers self esteem on poolside.
Please remember that if you buy race swimwear then please only use it for competition and ensure you rinse it thoroughly after use and dry it properly to ensure it lasts. These are made of very thin material and whilst chlorine resistant, need looking after.

This is my first competition, what do I do?

Firstly, thank you for entering. Please rest assured that our club always provide coaches at meetings to look after the swimmers.
Having entered, keep an eye on Competition/Future Events for news of your entry. Once confirmed you will usually receive cards, one for each event you have been accepted for. These should be taken to the event and tell you when your warm up starts and what event number you are in. Your coach will also know this so talk to them.
Ensure you arrive at the venue before the warm up start time, giving yourself time to park and get changed remembering that there will be hundreds of swimmers there so adjust your timings accordingly.
Look at other entries on this page for what to bring and what to eat, prepare well and make sure you enjoy your competition.

What are cards and why do I have them?

Cards are confirmation of entry for a competition, usually blue for boys and pink for girls. These contain the details of your entry and are to be taken to the meeting.
At the meeting, you will need to post your card in the reception area in a slot for each event number. This tells the meet organisers that you have turned up ready to swim. If your card is not posted then the meet organisers will take your name off the list an you cannot then swim. Card boxes usually close around the start of warm up so make sure you remember to post your card. Your coach will remind you.
When you go up for your event, you will receive your card back containing the number of the heat you are swimming in and the lane you are swimming in. you will then be organised into heat and lane order and marshalled to the start for your event.
Once at poolside, you will give the card to the time keeper in your lane.
If you do not have your card when you arrive, please see your coach as new cards can normally be written out provided it is before the card boxes are closed.

When should I arrive at a competition?

Remembering that you will be at the competition with possibly hundreds of other swimmers, please arrive at the pool at least half an hour before the start of your warm up (see your cards for warm up time), get changed, use a locker and join the rest of our swimmers and prepare for warm up.


What is B.E.J.S.C.?

B.E.J.S.C stands for Bourne End Junior Sports Club. We are the Swimming Section of this club which provides young people with many sporting and leadership opportunities in sports such as swimming, football, climbing, roller hockey, badminton, kayaking and sailing.
BEJSC is committed to the development of young people through sport with many of the more senior members developing as Junior Leaders through the leadership programme. If you are interested in this, please come and talk to a member of the committee who can point you in the right direction.

What is the Awards Evening and what happens there?

Within the Swimming Section we present several awards each year. Please click on Club News/Awards 2008 for details of last years awards.
The awards are presente for Sprint and Distance performance at the Club Championships and also for contribution to the club in a variety of ways both as swimmers and volunteers.
We present these awards at an annual presentation evening where all the sport sections of BEJSC present our awards and enjoy listening to a guest speaker from the world of sport.

What do I do if there is something about the club I do not like?

The simple answer is that we want to know. We aim to run our Swimming Club in a fully inclusive way. If you are a member of Bourne End Swimming Club then we want to ensure that your experience is always rewarding and challenging.
If you feel the need to talk to someone about anything to do with the way the club is being run then please talk to your poolside coach, the head coach or a member of the committee. See Contact Us at the bottom of every page for details of the committee, coaching and life guarding team.
Any and all feedback will be treated as confidential and treated seriously no matter what it is. Please do not assume that someone else has brought an issue to our attention.

What does the Committee do?

Any club takes a great deal of organising. Our committee help run the administrative side of the Swimming Club, ensuring that the funds are tracked properly, membership is maintained both with the ASA and BEJSC, the parent club, that we are able to organise and run our Club Championships and any other galas we attend and also to run the swim shop and non-swimming activities such as bowling and the BBQ each summer.
All of us on the committee are parents of swimmers and have come into our roles with little or no previous experience but with full support of other committee members. If you feel you may want to join the committee please come and talk to a current committee member about what roles are available and what they require of you. Many roles require a small amount of time at several times through the year rather than a continuous commitment and we would love to see you join us.
See Contact Us at the bottom of every page for the committee members.

Can anyone help to run the Swimming Club?

Yes, definitely. We have several specialist roles around the poolside but even these were taken by parents with no previous experience and many committee roles require a little time and coordination and you will be given a great deal of support to help develop you in your role.
If you want to take part in running our club be it poolside or on the committee please come and talk to us.

How do I volunteer to help our Club?

See Contact Us at the bottom of every page for details of the committee, coaches and life guards. Come and talk to us about where you think you would like to be involved and we can take it from there. We are fully a volunteer club and it is by our taking roles across the club that we have ensured that we have a healthy and successful swimming club.

Can anyone become a swimming teacher?

Yes, we provide ASA training courses and plenty of poolside support for our new swimming teachers. Should you decide that you want to join us poolside, we will start a programme with you whereby you will be able to accompany a teacher at poolside gaining experience of what and how we teach our swimmers.
We will fully fund your training as a swimming teacher and we can then place you poolside delivering predefined session plans always with the support of a more experienced teacher or coach.
What we require in return is a commitment to the training sessions which we agree with you, the usually fit around other schedules including when your swimmers are in the pool. I am sure you will find teaching our swimmers very rewarding.


How do I contact my coach?

If you need to contact your coach, you can use the website email address and the Head Coach will pass on any message as approprate.

What should I bring to training?

You need your costume, goggles, swimming hat and towel as well as a drinks bottle with either water or a weak fruit juice which you will need to sip throughout your training session.
Specific training equipment includes your kick board and pull buoy as well as a pair of fins. Do not buy long flippers as these are not suitable for swimming training.
We have a shoulder bag or a ruck sack which will adequately accommodate all your swimming kit, all this is available from our swim shop at Swimshop and on the link on the side of every page. The Swimshop will be able to advise you as to the most suitable kit for you.

Why should I drink whilst I train?

A water or weak fruit juice drink is most suitable for training as well as the proprietary isotonic drinks. A drink is very important in training to ensure that you do not dehydrate during your training session.

What do I do with my valuable posessions at a training session?

It is best to avoid taking phones or MP3 players to training but if you do then ensure they are tucked away in your swimming bag and that you bring your swimming bag to poolside whilst you are training or place it in a locked locker.
You can also pass items to your poolside coach if necessary but remember to ask for them back at the end of the session!

How can I get into the next squad?

We assess our swimmers towards the end of each school term and publish squad moves over the holiday ready for the next term. Swimmers are moved through the squads based on effort and attitude as well as swimming ability.
It is important to maintain the level of each squad and so if we move a swimmer up too early and they struggle too much, neither the coach or the swimmer will enjoy swimming.
Please talk to your poolside coach about what they are looking for from your swimming in order to move you to the next squad. Listen hard to the advice and work hard to improve and move up.

Why do we not swim at Wycombe Abbey every week?

Wycombe Abbey operate four terms and therefore have four half terms also. Outside school time the sports centre shuts at 6pm and so we cannot train there during these times.
All training times are available at Training/Schedule including the Monday and Tuesday evenings we are unable to swim at Wycombe Abbey.
We will endeavour to offer our junior swimmers the opportunity to swim on Sunday evening when the Wycombe Abbey is not available so look out for training announcements at Training/Training news and on the home page.

How often should I train?

Our training programme is designed to increase the number of hours you train as you move through the squads. We would like our swimmers to attend all sessions they can as fitness and strokes will improve the more often you swim.
We understand that not all swimmers can swim every session so set a timetable and try to stick to it so that you give yourselves the best opportunity to become an even better swimmer.

How can I find out more about how to do each stroke?

All of our poolside coaches are qualified teachers so please talk to your coach if there is something you do not understand. Also, the internet has many videos on swimming technique so use Google and YouTube to find what you need.
If you have any very specific needs in a particular area we can normally provide some pool time with Neil Bailey our head of teaching to improve one aspect of your stroke quickly and get you back on course.

What should I eat before and after training?

Eat something light and easily digestible like toast with jam or marmalade for a sugar burst before training. Cereals are also good.
The most important thing is eating AFTER training. I training your body creates an energy debt which needs to be replenished and if you are training hard your body will also require protein to help your body recover.
Make sure you eat something high in carbohydrate like cereal, bread, pasta, after training and ensure that you have adequate protein also, a glass of full fat milk is good. Ensure you drink plenty too, you will have lost much water from your body in training and will feel a lot better and will better digest your food if you drink plenty of water or fruit juices after training.

Why do I never get to do my favourite stroke?

We have a stroke plan for the year in which we rotate the strokes through the sessions trying to have each session targeting each stroke in turn. Sometimes this is not possible when we lose sessions at Wycombe Abbey or for other reasons but the plan is such that the strokes rotate so that you all get lots of time in all strokes regardless of what sessions you regularly swim.
Within each stroke we also rotate through a set of specific skills so as to address all parts of the stroke over a period of time to develop your strokes fully. It is for this reason that it is important that you swim regularly and take up as many of your sessions as you can.

What type of swimming trunks / costume should I train in?

Non-baggy swimwear is suitable, all in one costumes for girls and trunks for boys. Ensure that they are Chlorine Resistant as they will not last very long if not. Most boys wear jammers, trunks which go part way down the legs rather than small trunks.
If you decide to invest in race swimwear please avoid wearing this at taining as it will wear out before you get to compete in it.