Club post box
We now have a new post box for all swimming club forms and
letters. All swimming meet entry forms should now be posted
through our post box which is located underneath the trophy
cabinet at Hutton Moor.
An Official? Who, me?
By Kelly O'Connor, Volunteer coordinator
If your child has just started on their swimming journey then
congratulations on becoming a “swim parent”. If, like me, your
child is working their way up the squad lists and is a swimming
obsessive then commiserations… you’re a “swim parent”. If
sitting through 15 heats of Girls 400m freestyle in sauna-like
conditions and developing a severe case of “Bench Bum” you start
to think that there must be a better way to pass the time, there
The thought of volunteering is usually met with an audible
groan and avoidance of eye contact with the Club Organiser,
however, maybe you didn’t know that for all swimming
competitions the Club is expected to
provide or have, team managers, marshals and officials.
Without these volunteers, your child wouldn’t be able to compete.
I, with a handful of other parents last year, “volunteered”
to start training as a swimming official.
Dressed gloriously all in white (not my best look), swimming
officials are the studious-looking people seen standing around
the side of the pool sporting stopwatches and clipboards. My
only tip, if you do decide this maybe something you’re
interested in, is to buy white underwear!
As a beginner, I’m at the Judge Level 1 Candidate level. We
had two classroom sessions with Pete Gonsalves to begin with
before being presented with our Workbooks. The next objective is
to be mentored through the various roles a Judge Level 1 needs
to achieve. These include Time Keeper, Chief Time Keeper,
Inspector of Turns, Chief Inspector of Turns and Relay Take-off
Judging. There is no formal examination with this qualification,
but you will have to satisfactorily answer questions in the
course workbook and are asked questions whilst you are
completing your practical.
It can be pressured at times. A 50 metre freestyle race can
be over in under 30 seconds, in which time you have to check the
dive, that they haven’t gone more than 15 metres underwater,
ensure you have the correct swimmer for the next race, be in
position to view the touch finish, stop the automatic timing
back up button and stopwatch at the same time, note the time,
hand the slip to the Chief Timekeeper and be in position for the
start of the next race. However, the upside is the sessions
do fly by and you do feel involved.
Even more than marching out to cheesy music, the worst part
of the role is disqualifications. As a parent I know how heart
breaking they can be especially for younger swimmers. None of us
want to disqualify anyone. We always give the benefit of doubt
to the swimmer and only report any discrepancies to the Referee
if absolutely 100% sure. Sat in the crowd it can be a mystery as
to why a swimmer has been DQd, I certainly didn’t know all the
rules before I started this role. It has definitely given me a
greater insight into swimming - another reason to get involved!
You do get looked after as an Official. You can
receive travel expenses, are provided with drinks and sweets
throughout the racing and get provided lunch.
Maybe this Officiating isn’t for you. However, there are
plenty of alternatives to help if you want to take part. Go on,
For more information on becoming a Swim Official or
volunteering for a role assisting the club, see a member of the
committee or email:
Swimming Performance Awards
WSMSC now offers the opportunity for parents of our
swimmers, to acknowledge their achievements by purchasing badges
and certificates for times swum at competitions and events.
For further information,
please see this parents letter.
The award times are
An order form is
Ordering of awards is coordinated by Helen Finch who will be
at Hutton Moor on Tuesday 9th February 2016 from
7:15pm-8.00pm should you have any questions or would like to see
the badges and certificates.
Orders can be placed any Tuesday, by handing in the order
form along with payment to Jon and Leanne at the club shop.
WSMSC Gala Entries - Admin Fee
One small measure to help meet the escalating cost
of funding team manager/coach passes/expenses at galas is the
introduction of a levy of £1 per swimmer per gala entered.
This is per gala and NOT per event, so if you enter four
events at a gala you will pay £1 as will someone who enters six
events at that gala. Roxie is going to design a cover sheet for
all parents to fill out stating the number of events entered at
a gala, the cost of an event entry and the addition of this
levy, to help reconcile entries and payments (the County
Championships entry form now has this as a line item).
This does not apply to galas that we run.
Payments for Galas
Where the club supports a gala and entries are invited from WSMSC swimmers, cheques should be made out to "WSMSC" please and not to the club hosting the gala. It is the norm that cheques are only banked either once full acceptance has been received that we have got our swimmers into the meet or at the time of the meet itself. We don't bank cheques at the time you submit your entry in case of rejections/scratches.
Pool Times, Squads and Race Suits
Please check the squad training times to make sure that
swimmers are attending pre-pool. Being able to get in
certain positions and fire given muscle groups on land, is a
pre-cursor to performing the necessary skills in the water,
which will allow continued improvement. Some swimmers have
already been spotted as future “pre-pool experts"
Swimmers are grouped largely due to LTAD and their
biological, physical and mental age/maturity. The movement
criteria acts as a guideline to help parents to understand
what the coaches are looking for.
Swimmers are moved for several reasons:
- Sometimes they have reached the ceiling age for
the squad that they are in and they need to shift the
focus of their training to something else, to help them
to continue to improve
- Swimmers that demonstrate outstanding skills consistently,
show that they are ready for a new challenge
- Some swimmers hit a plateaux and need to change the
focus of their training
- Swimmers can be invited to ‘drop in’ to a session to
help them to transition or because they need something
extra to add to their programme when they are older -
there always needs to be something to add on, in future
Movement is not based on race times and
does not make one swimmer ‘better’ than another. We work
very hard to give every athlete the training that THEY need
to help them to continue improving. Moving squads before a
swimmer is ready, can be far more detrimental than moving
A race suit is designed to improve swimming performance.
In a swimmer’s early years of racing, improvements come
from mastering race skills and growing. Due
to the nature of the sport, swimmers are constantly chasing
that next ‘golden carrot’ time and a race suit is a short
cut in their developmental journey. If a swimmer
NEEDS a race suit to achieve a certain time, they are not
yet ready to compete at that level and need to develop the
necessary skills to help them to progress.
Race suits can mask poor skills. The
best young swimmers can race in training suits and know that
they have another level for the meets that matter.
There are no short cuts to success - it takes 10 years or
10,000 hrs of training. Early short cuts will lead to
plateaus later, which are really tough (psychologically) to
- NO race suits should EVER be worn for L4 or
- Race suits should ONLY be worn for last chance L3
meets (for County/Regional QTs)
- L1 and 2 meets are where swimmers complete at a
performance level - this is where race suits should be
worn (but only using the correct process…..eg not during
warm up/swim down)
How do I find my
child's time for a gala?
Licensed meet times can be found by looking at the ASA's
database of times for each swimmer, known as their 'biog', or
ASA biographies can be accessed by inserting your child’s ASA number into the
search box on
https://www.swimmingresults.org/biogs/, or by putting your surname into the
search box, then scrolling down and clicking on them from the results generated
Not all meets are licensed so a broader range of times
actually swum (second, third and final leg split times of relays
can NEVER be used to enter individual events) can be found on
the club PB (Personal Best) list, which can be found in the
members section of the website and on the board at Hutton Moor.
The ASA's National Swim21 panel has approved our submission
Swim21 is the ASA's 'kite mark' of good practice and the
committee, lead very much by Steve Soper, has been working
towards this for the past 18 months.
This award will enable the club to obtain bursaries more
easily towards courses for volunteers, teachers and coaches and
also means our older swimmers can participate in the ASA South
West Region's young volunteer programme.
For more information:
The slides displayed during the Parent Information session
presented by Rachel on Tuesday 6 Oct are available as a PDF file
If you do not know the user/password to access this then
please talk to a comittee member or
email the Web Administrator for assistance.
Message to Parents
From Rachel Aldington, Head Swimming Coach WSMSC
Dear Parents, You are members of WSMSC because you recognise that the coaching team are keen to nurture young talent into exceptional senior swimmers. We do this by following LTAD guidelines and teaching age group swimmers the processes that are necessary during training and competition. This includes warming up, nutrition, ‘suiting up’ and swimming down.
British Swimming recommends 1800m of swim down between races, to ensure that waste products are removed and muscles are ready to perform at maximal level again (documentation behind this available on request).
It is essential that you support us at County Level, where swimmers are starting the journey towards this distance, by being asked to complete between 400-800m.
The restrictions laid down by Somerset ASA, determining that ONLY those with coaches passes be in the swimmers area and on poolside, are to support your coaching team, in providing clear instructions to the swimmers (without confusion), to enable them to be the best that they can be.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please ask Rachel (email link above), if further clarification is needed.
Rachel, Head Swimming Coach, WSMSC
We have started sending out email updates/bulletins to everyone for which we have an email address. If you are not receiving the emails and would like to do so, please send an email to the Membership Secretary, Jenny King, who will add your address to the list.
The latest bulletin inlcuded a report on the 2015 Zonals, which is also now on our Notice Board page, as well as a reminder about the Easy Fundraising initiative - details at the foot of the home page.
ASA Aquazone online
Phase 1 of the online magazine for ASA Category 2 members aged 9-15 is now live, offering a news feed, interviews, competitions and more.
For details and how to sign up, please see this notice from the ASA (PDF).
The PB List policy
be viewed here.
For individual updates to the PB List in line with the
policy above, please email
VIDEO STROKE ANALYSIS
The clubs coaches may wish to video swimmers to
help them improve their stroke technique, turns and starts.
Video analysis is being used by more and more clubs as an aid to
coaching and teaching as it allows the swimmer to see exactly what they
are doing correctly and incorrectly.
If you would rather that your child is not videoed you should email
Rachel Aldington to let her know, if you have any queries on
this please contact the club chairman.
April to August 2016