We have developed a gala policy to explain our approach to galas and responsibilities of swimmers, parents and the Club (last updated January 2019).
- This policy applies to all Saxon Crown competitive squads except for Tiger Sharks and Masters.
- We will develop a competition calendar for each season, which will normally be sent out in September and added to in December/January. The objective of the calendar will be to provide swimmers with an appropriate number of opportunities to compete given their age and stage of development. The galas we target will always be supported by at least one coach on poolside and, if required, a team manager. There may be a small number of additional galas each year that we advertise but do not actively support as a Club.
- The competition calendar will be emailed and also published on the club website and will set out which galas are suitable for which squads. Suitability criteria will also be set out when the gala is advertised. If anything is unclear swimmers or parents/guardians should seek advice from the coach or Gala Secretary.
- Emails about specific galas will be sent by email by the Gala Secretary to relevant squads, with instructions and a deadline for returning forms. If forms are not returned by the deadline, it is likely we will not be able to enter the swimmer.
- Payments for galas are required for individual races, set by the club holding the gala. We will also charge a small additional club administration fee per entry (not per race) to cover coaching attendance costs at galas and other overheads. Payment of the administration fee is mandatory and swimmers will not be entered if it is not paid.
- Entries for galas that the Club is targeting and will have coaches on poolside must be made through the Gala Secretary. Independent entries will not be permitted, in the interests of swimmers' welfare and to ensure that we can effectively support swimmers at the gala. Parents/guardians who enter galas independently into Club-supported galas against the explicit advice of the coaching team will be in breach of the parents’ code of conduct.
- Parents/guardians may enter swimmers independently into galas that the Club is not supporting but are strongly encouraged to seek advice from the coach beforehand, as it may not be an appropriate time in the training cycle for a swimmer to race.
- Swimmers should always seek advice from their coaches on which races to enter and parents/guardians should not generally enter a swimmer in any more than 2-3 races per session (there are normally 2 or 3 sessions per day in a gala). Parents/guardians can also seek advice from the coach, either after a training session or by email.
- The Gala Secretary will enter all swimmers into races applied for. The Gala Secretary does not have discretion to reject an entry, provided the entry form and full payment is complete and on time.
- If an entry is rejected by the club holding the gala (e.g. due to capacity constraints) or for any other reason, the Club will refund the entry money for that race but not the club administration fee. If a swimmer is rejected for all races, the Club will refund the entry money for the races and the club administration fee.
- Swimmers should arrive for gala sessions in time to participate in land and pool warmup. They will receive a pre-race briefing and post-race review from the coach. It is swimmers’ responsibility to sign themselves into races, when signing-in is required.
- It is expected that swimmers will attend and swim all the races they have been accepted for, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as illness. Entering and then not swimming a race means that a race slot is wasted and another swimmer may not have had the opportunity to race. Also, for certain galas, Saxon Crown will be fined if swimmers do not attend or drop out of races for no reason. We will expect parents/guardians to pay the fine in these circumstances. We will inform parents/guardians if this is one of the conditions when we send out gala information.
- Parents/guardians and non-swimming siblings are not permitted on poolside during galas - this is Swim England policy and is to protect the safety and welfare of swimmers. Swimmers will be looked after by the coach and team manager, who are trained and DBS checked.
- Swimmers are expected to behave considerately towards other swimmers and always follow instructions from the referee or officials.
- Unless agreed otherwise with the coach or team manager on poolside, swimmers should stay on poolside during gala sessions, and not sit in the spectator area. This is necessary to ensure swimmers are on time for their races and helps build a team ethos, supporting their fellow swimmers. They should have enough clothing to stay warm, drinks and healthy snacks.
- Swimmers should not leave the gala until they have been collected by their parent/guardian or appropriate adult and signed out by the coach or team manager.