Questions & Answers



Q. When should my child do club mornings and what is the purpose?

Children should attend club when they are keen and enthused to become more involved in their swimming. The shortest event held on club mornings is 25 m, so your child must be able to swim this distance to enter a club event. Normally children start at club around the age of 8 or 9. Younger swimmers (7 yr olds) are able to be involved if they can swim 25 m and are keen. The purpose of Club mornings are Club participation, friendships with other swimmers and their families, and individual improvement and race experience. Club points are awarded for all swims at club, on the basis of each swimmer’s personal best times so the emphasis is heavily on individual improvement rather than competition against other swimmers. These points accumulate over the season: trophies for the club points winners are given at the end of season trophy night.


Q. My child plays sports on a Sat morning, should they still join the swimming club?

Yes, they should as attendance at each club morning is not compulsory – they can choose which club mornings to attend from the club meet calendar.


Q. Where/How can I find out about Club Mornings?

Dates for the winter and summer season will be published on the noticeboard and an insert will be distributed to families for the middle of the blue book. The club meet calendar is also available on the club website:


Q. What is the deadline for entering Club Mornings?

Thursday night is the deadline. Please fill in your details in the registration file, which will be available from your coach each Wednesday before Saturday’s club meet. For new swimmers to the club, a date of birth is essential information to complete your registration in our meet database.


Q. Is there a minimum number of club meets that my child needs to attend in order to be eligible for Club Championships?

Each child must swim a minimum of 5 non-trophy club mornings to be eligible for Club Championship Trophies. Trophy events for junior swimmers include the Club Distance Championship morning (usually in September or October) and the Club Sprint Championships (usually 2 mornings in February or March). This means a minimum commitment of 8 club mornings over the season if swimmers want to be eligible to receive trophies from both the Distance and the Sprint championships. Participation in club mornings is seen as an important part of involvement in the club.


Q. Can parents drop children off to club mornings and then collect them at the end of the club meet?

Parents are encouraged to stay to help do time keeping as we do need 2 to 3 time keepers per lane.


Q. My child wants to race competitively. What meets should they enter?

Once swimmers have gained experience racing in club meets, they can progress to the junior head to head meets. These meets have no qualifying times, and are short (ie ~1.5-2 h) so are an ideal entry into competitive racing, and gaining official qualifying times. They are held every 1 to 2 months with one other club at either their home pool or ours. It is designed to have our kids race against strangers for a bit more excitement and maybe a different venue.. Your child’s coach will tell you when these meets are organized as they are usually not advertised on the Swimming WA website.


Q. Why/when should my child start entering Swimming WA meets?

Once swimmers have gained experience racing in club and junior head to head meets they can then start to look at bigger meets. Many SWA have qualifying standards. If swimmers have made these standards then they are encouraged to enter


Q. Why do some Swimming WA & Club hosted meets have qualifying times and others don’t?

Qualifying times are made to keep the meet to a certain standard. Some meets have no qualifying standard and these can be VERY long. A lot of SWA meets have qualifying times and they get progressively harder as the prestige of the event increases. These go right up to Australian National Championships.


Q. Is there a pathway that my swimmers will follow?

Children are introduced to competition at swimming club on Saturday mornings (1 hr: 8-9 am). The next step is our junior head to head meets (see above). Meets run by other clubs are the next step . Mostly there are no qualifying times and competition at these events may include swimmers from many other clubs. These events could run all day (9-5). To qualify for meets run by Swimming WA (the next step), swimmers need to meet AA qualifying times (or harder State qualifying times) to compete in each event nominated. Once swimmers are at this standard they are encouraged to enter the events the club targets. Ultimately, If swimmers make national qualifying times, they may have the opportunity to travel with our team to national championship events around Australia


Q. What is the Swimming WA Almanac?

There are two Almanac’s; Winter/Short Course and Summer/Long Course. These are available from the Swimming WA website – both these books show all the registered meets for the year.


Q. How can I find out if my child has achieved a qualifying time?

Qualifying times are listed in the Swimming WA almanacs which can be found under the Events Calendar tab at the following website address: Your child’s official times will be found also on the WA swimming website at the following address: and you can compare these to the qualifying times for specific meets.


Q. Why does the Club (SSPW) allow you to enter some meets and not others?

The coaches target a select number of meets throughout the year that best suit coaches and competitive swimmers. These meets also work around the SSPW Club Mornings. There are so many swim meets throughout the year that you could almost do one every weekend. Some of these meets are great for our kids and others are long and drawn out. Our coaching staff identify the meets best for our swimmers based on previous experiences. Going to swim meets every weekend may seem to be a good idea for younger swimmers who are keen to compete but over an extended period this exposure typically “burns out” both the swimmer and more importantly their families. Our club wants to see swimmers develop well into their teenage years and hopefully beyond.


Q. If my child is swimming in a Watkins Southside Swimming Squad, are they eligible to swim at Club and also Swimming WA Meets?

No, they must be registered with SSPW Swimming Club as a competitive swimmer. Swimming in Watkins Squad is a separate cost to SSPW Swimming Club. Only very young swimmers (those who won’t turn 9 before the end of the season (31st Mar 2011), are allowed to register as a non-competitive swimmer. This gives us insurance cover for them to swim at club, but they cannot enter any interclub competitive meets, including junior head to head meets.


Q. How do I find out when/where nominated meets are listed?

Meets are listed in the Club Calendar (which we suggest you keep with your Blue Book), and will be listed on the Noticeboard and the Club website. You will be advised by the coaches/meet registrar of any change/addition to these meets, y.


Q. How is club information passed around to club members?

We find that the easiest way to circulate information is via EMAIL (please ensure that the Club Secretary has up to date contact details). Learning informally when assisting as a time keeper at club has always been useful. Please also check the club noticeboard regularly.


Q. Why are some meets in a 25m pool and others in a 50m pool?

25m pools are used in the Short Course (Winter) season and the 50 m pool is used in the Long Course (Summer) season.


Q. Can I use my child’s short course times for the long course season and vice versa?

No – these times cannot be converted. Long course times can be used for short course but no conversion is allowed. This extends up to national events.


Q. When entering my child in a swimming meet, do I enter them in all of the events for their age group?

Your coach can best advise you of the events to enter for individual swimmers. For very short meets you need to be a bit more selective. For meets like Albany where it is going to be long there will usually be long enough gaps for kids to recover. We will endeavour to estimate what events are long and which are short. For our younger members we encourage them towards going more for short meets. Although the standard of competition may not be as high in short meets due to limited number of swimmers, it is fine for 12s and under.


Q. Who keeps a record of my child’s swimming times?

Once your child is a Swimming WA Competitive Member their times are entered on the SWA website after each Almanac Meet. You can find your childs personal bests (and their history) on the following website:                                                                                             Club times are kept in the club database. These are printed out on the noticeboard after each official club swimming morning. Many parents find it helpful to identify the qualifying times needed for events in which their child wants to swim at the start of each season and to keep a list handy of their child’s current PB for each event.


Q. What can I expect to happen if I enter my child in a meet from the Swimming WA Almanac?

If your child is entered in a swim meet please look for a club sheet at the meet to put your name down for some time keeping duty. Large swim meets last most of the day. Bring plenty of healthy snacks throughout the day etc.