Athlone Swimming Club


The following rules and guidelines are designed to ensure the safety of the Clubs members, and provide information to parents on how best to support your son/daughter while swimming in the Club.
On joining the club, swimmers will be told which group they are in, and the club coaches will decide progression from one group to the next. Times of the club sessions will be displayed on the Club Notice Board (At top of seating area in main pool) and in this booklet. Any changes of times for holiday period etc., will be displayed on the Club Notice Board.
Swimmers shall show respect for their Coaches, and obey their instructions at all times when they are under their control.
Swimmers should turn up on time for Club Sessions and if required should help with preparing the Pool for the session.
Children, who are conveyed to and from the pool by their parents or other adult, should remain at the pool until they are collected. Children, who normally do not walk to the pool alone, should not walk home alone.
Adults, who bring and collect children to and from the pool, should ensure that the session has not been cancelled before they drop their children and depart from the pool. Parents should be punctual when collecting children.
The coaching staff are responsible for swimmers throughout the Club session while swimmers are in the pool bank. Responsibility reverts to the parents once the children leave poolside to enter the changing rooms. Note: Be aware that the dressing rooms are available for use by the general public during and after training sessions.
In order to leave a swimming session early the swimmer should present the coach with a written request signed by his/her parents. Coaching Sessions
A qualified Coach or teacher will supervise all sessions.
Parents may spectate during sessions; they should not encroach on the poolside or interrupt the Coaches during the sessions.
Discussion between parents and coaches should take place either before or after the session.
Coaches and teachers should be familiar with the “Code of Ethics and Good Practice in Children’s Sport” and “Officials’ Code of Ethics”.

Club Trips - The Committee will appoint officials in charge of all Club Trips, and will ensure there is a gender balance and sufficient ratio of officials to the number of swimmers. Parents must give written permission for their children to go on a Club Trip. (A special form must be filled in for overnight trips)
Adults in charge of swimmers who travel to galas should travel to and from the gala on the bus, and remain at the gala until all Club swimmers are ready to depart. If there are drop-off points on the return journey swimmers should not be left alone on the roadside. The bus should wait until a parent or somebody known to them collects them.
It is important that the adult in charge has a contact phone number for every swimmer who is on an away trip.

Code of Behaviour
All members shall show respect and courtesy to other members at all times.
Do not interfere with any other swimmers in the water.
Do not leave the pool without the coach’s permission
Offensive language should not be used at any time
Do not interfere with anybody’s property on poolside or in the dressing rooms.
Take off all jewellery when training.
No running on poolside.
During warm-ups, no diving or jumping in.
Stay off the lane ropes.
Stay away from the Jacuzzi.
Don’t throw water bottles; do not bring any glass bottles onto poolside and no chewing gum.

When the Code of Behaviour is not adhered to a member maybe disciplined according to the Club Disciplinary Procedure. Disciplinary Procedure Any minor offence by any swimmer will receive a verbal warning by the coach/official in charge on the bank.
If a child persists with minor offences then the parent or parents will be approached by the coach/official in charge and informed of their child’s misbehaviour.
If after the parents have been notified, the child continues misbehaving, then the coach/official will bring this problem to the attention of the Complaints Committee.
Any major offence will automatically be brought to the attention of the Complaints Committee.
Complaints to the Complaints Committee will be dealt with in accordance with the Club Constitution.

We hope by supplying this booklet that you as parents will have a better understanding of the Club’s operations and how your child fits into the club and to swimming in general. The Clubs Constitution and this Rule/Handbook are available to all
Development 1 (Bronze Squad)
This group introduces swimmers for the first time to the deep end. Technique will be taught on all four strokes. Promotion out of this group will be decided by the teacher, when it is felt that the swimmer can swim comfortably in the deep end without close supervision.

Development 2 (Silver Squad)
Swimmers are now able to complete 25 metres front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke non stop. Technique will be taught on all four strokes, also diving. Promotion will be based on a Time Trial, or at the coach’s discretion.

Development 3 (Gold Squad)
Swimmers are expected to train at distances up to 2 lengths. All aspects of swimming will be included in this group. Technique will still be the main focus, but fitness and speed training will also be included. Promotion out of this group will be based on Time Trials. Those over 9 years of age, if promoted, move into our ‘A’ Squad, and those 9 years of age and under move into our Junior Squad.

Junior Squad
This group is only for our 6,7,8 and 9 year olds who achieve a certain time in our Time Trials. All swimmers will be expected to train at distances of up to 4 lengths. Swimmers in this group will train 3 days a week. Training will follow the same lines as our Gold Squad. Promotion out of this group will depend on Time Trial results. Swimmers are not expected to compete in Galas, unless organised by the Club.

‘A’ Squad
This squad will train 4 times a week. Swimmers are expected to swim distances ranging from 25 metres to approximately 800 metres. All aspects of training will be covered, with a larger emphasis now being placed on fitness levels. Swimmers will be expected to participate in competition throughout the year. Generally most of these swimmers will attend Graded Galas, but any swimmer who achieves an ‘A’ time, as set out in the Graded Tables, will now be eligible to swim in all open competition throughout Connacht. Any swimmer who achieves a Division II Irish Age Groups time will be automatically promoted into the Elite Squad (See chart). Any swimmer within 5 seconds of Div. 2 I.A.G. may swim an extra session on a Sunday morning with the Elite Squad. If an U/11 swimmer is within 10 seconds of Div.2; U/10 15 seconds; U/9 20 seconds, then these swimmers will train on Sunday instead of Wednesday, giving them an extra 45 minutes training each week.

Elite Squad
This group has swimmers ranging in talent from a good Connacht standard up to international level. Swimmers now train 7 days a week and will attend Galas countrywide and abroad. Fitness levels will be of the highest standard and ages range from 11 to 18. The aim for this group is to qualify for the Division I Irish Age Groups or the National Open Championships. Club Time Trials & Promotions Time Trials will be run every term to determine who is promoted from our Development Squad (Gold, Silver and Bronze) to our Junior and ‘A’ Squads. The following are guidelines for promotion: 6,7,8 and 9 year olds may qualify for the Junior Squad by competing in a 25 metre Time Trial. All other age groups must compete in a 50 metre Time Trial to win promotion to the “A” Squad. Please note that these qualifying times do not guarantee promotion as there may not be enough spaces to cater for all swimmers.

25 metres Front crawl 50 metres Front crawl
6 years 30 seconds & under 10 years 48 seconds & under
7 years 28 seconds & under 11 years 43 seconds & under
8 years 26 seconds & under 12 years 40 seconds & under
9 years 23 seconds & under 13 years+ 38 seconds & under

Any swimmer who shows ability in another stroke may, at the discretion of the coaches, be promoted to a higher group.

*To be promoted from our Junior Squad into our ‘A’ Squad, it is necessary to swim 50 metres Front crawl in 50 seconds or under, or 25 metres Breaststroke in 25 seconds or under.
Warm up togs and racing togs.
Tracksuit, T-shirt, shorts, flipflops or runners.
2 pairs of goggles, to be on your person at all times, in case one pair snaps.
Two towels.
Club hat to be worn during warm-up and race, to enable the Coach to get all times.

Warming Up
Climb into the pool at the start of the warm up.
Make sure to swim continuously and not get in the way of other swimmers.
Become familiar with your surroundings, e.g. practise turns, especially backcrawl.
Try to complete at least 1,000 metres at a medium pace.
When doing a sprint, raise your hand to get the attention of the Coach, and always leave a gap between you and the swimmer in front. Remember the Coach can only get one split at a time. Report back to the Coach after each sprint, for feedback.
After the warm up, get changed quickly and report back to poolside.

Eat a normal breakfast in the morning, i.e. cereal, toast, tea etc.
Bring some wholemeal sandwiches, and do not eat directly before a race.
Avoid sweets and fizzy drinks.
Make sure to drink plenty of water or sports drink throughout the day.

Race Rules
Most of our Galas require pink and blue cards. These cards will be given to each swimmer prior to their race. The swimmer then hands the card to the timekeeper just before their race.
The starter will blow three short whistles to get the timekeepers attention, and then one long whistle to signal the swimmers to climb onto the blocks and prepare to start.
If, after starting, the referee blows the whistle continuously, this signals a false start and swimmers must stop and return to the blocks to restart the race.
On a Back crawl start swimmers may put their toes over the surface of the water.
On Butterfly and Breaststroke turns, swimmers must touch with 2 hands, and the same applies at the finish. A one hand touch will lead to disqualification.

Stay in the Pool Complex at all times.
Obey the Pool rules.
Report to the Coach after each race, for splits and corrections.
Do not leave money, or valuables such as mobile phones, unattended in the dressing rooms – they can be given to Team Manager for safekeeping.

Glossary of Swimming Terms
A Gala - For swimmers who have achieved a time faster than the B Grade cut off
CRSI - Connacht Region Swim Ireland
DNF - Did not finish
DNS - Did not start
NS - No show
DQ - Disqualified. A swimmer should be notified by the gala referee with a reason
FTR - Freestyle Team Relay (4 swimmers swim Freestyle)
Graded Gala - for swimmers who have not achieved a time faster than the B Grade cut off
Green Book - Handbook available from Swim Ireland with details of competitive swimming at NL - National Level
HDW - Heat Declared Winners (No finals will be held in this event. The fastest times in heats are winners)
IAG - Irish Age Groups
IM - Individual Medley - swimmer does a set length of each stroke (Order fly, back, breast free)
LC - Long Course (each length of the pool = 50 metres)
MTR - Medley Team Relay (Order backcrawl, breaststroke, fly, freestyle)
PB - Personal best
QT - Qualifying Time
NQT - No Qualifying Time required
SC - Short Course (each length of the pool = 25 metres)
SI - Swim Ireland
Straight Finals - No heats will be held in this event - normally less entrants than lanes in the pool
Swim U - To swim in the age group above swimmers actual age group
TBD - To be decided
Age Group - Division of swimmers according to age
FINA - The international governing body for the sport of swimming
Scratch - To withdraw a swimmer from an event before the start of the competition
Heat Sheet - A printed order of events by session with swimmers listed by heat and lane (with team and entry time)
Swim Off - A race after the scheduled event to break a tie. The only circumstance that warrants a Swim-off is to determine which swimmer makes finals.
Starter - The official in charge of signalling the beginning of a race and insuring that all swimmers have a fair take-off
Split - A swimmer’s intermediate time in a race. Splits are registered every 50 metres (or 25 metres depending on the pool and the equipment on hand)
Referee - The head official at a swim meet
Chairperson : Breda O'Leary
Vice Chairperson : Deirdre Lowe
Secretary/PRO: Liam Johnson
Treasurer: John Brennan
Assistant Treasurer: Patricia Cleary (
Education Officer: Serena Friel
Committee: Breda Mooney, Linda O'Halloran, Loretta Fagan, Barry Smith, Mary Nagle, Niki Henson, Catherine Clarke

Coach: Johnny Powell (086) 8358750
Mary Nagle 085 8307830
Niall McAuley 087 6294205
(Our Club Children’s Officers’ role is to liaise between the children and the adults within the club, ensuring that the children have a voice with regard to Club matters. The Club Children’s Officers are available to any child or swimmer if they have a problem or a concern.)

Club Captains: Rachel & Bryan