If you are new to competing in galas/meets then the following information should help you be prepared. Make sure you read all relevant information sent to you beforehand. Competing is about racing yourself, getting a time for a race (PB) and doing it faster at the next gala. 

Training and competing should be fun. All the swimmers get nervous from time to time, it is only natural. If you are particularly worried about anything, please speak to your coaches, or older swimmers who have been through it and they will try and help. The club also has a Welfare Officer whose contact details are on the 'Contact Us' page.


Start by picking the shortest races (50m so 2 lengths of the pool) of your favourite strokes. As you become more familiar with the process, you can get more adventurous and do longer races and even your least favourite strokes! If you are not sure which races to do, then please ask your coaches.


Please make sure that you arrive at the time indicated, this is usually 30 mins prior to the warm-up, NOT the time of the actual race. If you fail to sign in on time you will not be allowed to enter that session  All swimmers should report to the Team Manager on arrival.  The team will be on the poolside and all Thame swimmers should sit together.

Please note that when a swimmer is attending a gala, that swimmer must have a parent or guardian in attendance at all times. You will be required to pay an entry fee to watch the gala.

Please note that large bags are not usually permitted poolside due to lack of space therefore it is a good idea to bring a small drawstring bag to keep the essentials in. (goggles, hat, swimsuit, drink and towel. Spare goggles and hat also recommended). 


The Team Manager will have a programme of events and swimmers will be made aware of their event(s) and will advise when to go to the marshalling area. Swimmers will need to wear their Thame top and sliders / flip-flops to go to marshalling.

After each race swimmers should talk to the Coach for feedback on their swim.

The swimmers should ask permission from the Team Manager before leaving poolside and should let them know when they are leaving the gala.


  • Thame top
  • Race suit / swimmers
  • Thame swimming hat (and a spare hat)
  • Goggles (and a spare set)
  • Drinks (ideally water), a packed lunch and snacks (fruit etc.)
  • Pool shoes (sliders or flip-flops)
  • Towel
  • Small poolside bag
  • Dry clothes for after your races
  • Something to keep you occupied during long galas

Swimmers are responsible for their own belongings whilst at a gala so please check that they have everything when they leave.


Your swimmer can leave poolside once they have completed all of the races in a session. They MUST NOT leave without letting their Team Manager know that their parent/responsible adult is taking them.