What are Galas & Open Meets ?
There are three types of Gala that we do as a club
Internal Galas just for our swimmers. These are the Annual Club Championships, Summer Gala and Mini Galas (Open to any age swimmers)
Inter-Club Galas where we compete as a team against other local clubs in a league such as the Sports Centre League and JC Dobb League (Minimum age is 8)
Open Meets where the swimmers will race in individual events but representing Nottingham Portland SC and as we target certain meets we always have a good Portland crowd to cheer each other on. (Minimum age is 9)
In addition to these galas we will also run time trial nights at training where all swimmers are welcome to have a go at getting personal best times.
Nottingham Portland SC Club Galas
There are two Annual Club Galas in our calendar, which we hold at Nottingham University – the Summer Gala (June) and the Annual Club Championships (October). We run them as formal galas with fun team relays at the end – time permitting, followed by prize-giving evenings. These events are a great way for the whole Club to get together and for the swimmers and families to support each other.
In addition, we aim to run several Mini Galas per year for our Technical Development Squad, which are held at Portland Centre (dates are advised in advance). This is a much more informal event, giving all swimmers the opportunity to race one length in each stroke – front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly – and record their times. The amount of improvement since the last mini gala is calculated as a percentage (there is some clever maths and a spreadsheet!) to determine the top three swimmers, who are awarded prizes on the night.
We also arrange Time Trial Nights on designated Sunday evening sessions, where swimmers can come along and have a go at specified events – covering different strokes and distances each time.
Inter-Club League Galas
As a Club we participate in league galas and occasionally Trophy Galas against other local clubs. The main leagues we do are the Sports Centre League and the JC Dobb League and the galas are held on Saturday evenings.
For 8 and 9 year old swimmers there are usually only relay races; for other age groups there are both individual and relay races. Points are awarded according to the swimmer’s finishing place in each race, then added up to get the overall finishing position of the team on the night. This then counts towards the Club’s place in the league. The distances of the individual events in these galas are mainly short sprints of 25m and 50m, with some 100m races for the older swimmers.
Gala squads are chosen by the coaching team and swimmers will be contacted via email if they have been selected to swim. We try to get as many swimmers as possible to take part, whilst also striving to achieve a good position in the league. Key to these events is supporting each other and getting the best result we possibly can in each race.
Open Meet galas give swimmers a chance to race in a wider range of events and distances, enable them to `go for’ times that they may be trying to achieve and see how they are doing/improving. In swimming there are set times that, if achieved, mean the swimmers can race in the annual county, regional or national age group competitions.
Opportunities to set good times and assess progress aside, Open Meets offer a great experience for swimmers, as they have a wide variety of Clubs attending, are fun to do – we have a good team of swimmers who take part – and trophies and medals (and sometimes cash!) are available for the top swimmers in the different age groups.
Information and guidance about individual Open Meets will be given to you via email, the noticeboard and website.
* Note some of the Open Meets are on the same day as inter-club galas and swimmers are asked, if selected, to swim for the Club, even if they have entered an Open Meet scheduled on the same date.
Why take part in Galas?
The coaching team and swimmers can see how everyone is doing in training generally, but racing provides even more information, as the times achieved in galas provide a benchmark by which to compare improvement and gauge the effectiveness of training.
At galas, the swimmers are fresh and the element of competition in a racing environment, with the support of their friends, often results in their swimming Personal Best times (PBs). The Club galas also give the swimmers a chance to compete as a team as well as individuals.
The Club maintains a record of all times and PBs set by swimmers and publishes them in the Swimmers’ Corner section of the website.