Attending your First Gala


  • Always arrive promptly for a gala at least 15 mins before warm up is due to begin. Warm up may begin with boys or girls, usually if the gala begins with a boys race the warm up will begin with the boys. In larger Venus it may be a mixed warm up.
  • Ensure you listen to what the officials/coaches/managers tell you to do and act on it.
  • Be aware of when and what you are swimming.  The officials/coaches/managers will be able to tell you.
  • If you need to leave poolside, please ensure you tell the officials/coaches/managers (even if you just go to the toilet – they need to know where all the swimmers are).
  • Keep quiet for all race starts.
  • Support and encourage your team.

What to take


  • Swimming costume/trunks.
  • Club hat. So we can spot you in the race!
  • Goggles x 2.
  • Tracksuit/shorts and spare t-shirt for poolside (to keep warm).
  • Poolside footwear (flip flops/flat sandles)
  • 2 towels (one for use during the gala, and one for getting dry afterwards).


  • Drink in a plastic bottle with secure lid.  No need for anything special but not a fizzy drink.
  • Sandwiches, bananas, pasta are suitable foods.
  • Don’t eat everything you have all at once!  Eat and drink small amounts gradually during the gala.

Warm Up

  • Each gala will have a warm up period.  Make full use of the time to warm up for each stroke being swum in that meet, to practice turns (particularly back stroke, count your number of strokes from flag to turn) and practice starts.
  • Always listen to guidance from the pool side by Club or Gala officials.
  • Do not dive in where other swimmers are warming up.  A sprint lane will be designated for starting practice.
  • Always continue to swim during warm up – do not stop in the middle or at lane ends (unless letting a faster swimmer pass).
  • Do not be disruptive in a lane and ensure you always keep in mind the safety of you and others.
  • A warm-down pool may be provided, which can also be used to warm up again between events.  If so, you are only allowed to use this facility when given permission by Club officials.

NAC Graded Gala.

Sliabh Beagh swimmers and coaches usually sit on the LEFT HAND SIDE when standing on balcony facing the starting blocks.

A gala coordinator from the club will assist you when you need to be on pool deck for your race.

Parents must remain at the gala at all times.


Warm Up Info From Dana

 Warm-up for senior AS kids (junior AS kids, can swim 50s as we do in practice): Reminder that warm-up is nice and easy! Everyone should know what events they are swimming before they enter the water for warm-up.  This warm-up is for all Sr. AS swimmers:  100 f/c, 100 b/c, 50 breaststroke arms with fly legs, another 100 f/c. If swimming IM or brst, then 100 breast with breast legs. If swimming IM or fly, 50 to 100 fly.  At this stage, they should be warmed-up.  Then they should do a few Sprints in the Sprint lanes (with a dive or proper backstroke start) in all of the strokes they will be swimming.  Take special note if swimming backstroke to practice counting from flags.

Cool down: Please swim a few lengths nice and easy in the side pool after your race.  This is to help with your recovery, and is a good habit to get in to.  Then go to the coach to get feedback on your race.

Healthy snacks: oranges are a must! Bananas are excellent, as well as yogurt, and granola, other fruit.  Always have a water bottle.

Be aware of what you are swimming, and what events are being seated on deck.

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