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Throughout the swimming season, you will see that there are multiple opportunities to compete and show off what you have been working hard for….

Here you will discover what each event is all about and what to expect during the event, next to each event you will see a clock symbol and the approximate time expected for the event.


At Wareham swimming club we are affiliated members of Dorset County ASA.

The events below are available.


Novice League | Graded Meet | Development Meet | County Championships


If you are still not sure, see the section  for our: - First timers guide to swimming galas!


We have also added a handy shopping list for keeping your son / daughter and you energized throughout events – see our handy advisory on food and drink for events!


Entry Times For Competitions


Entry times are required to enter all County and Open Meet Competitions. There is a different criteria set out for each meet in the competition conditions, covering swimmers age as at, qualifying/Stroke consideration times (achieved at a licensed or unlicensed competition), Licensed or unlicensed competitions and in some cases, there is a period the times have to be achieved within approximately 12 months.


Some meets have a Qualifying time and a Consideration cut off time.


A Consideration time is set slower than a qualifying time to give swimmers an opportunity to enter but will not necessarily guarantee they will be accepted depending on the number of places allocated.


A Qualifying time is if the swimmers time, is that time or faster they will automatically qualify for that event if places are available.


How to Enter

Events that have been organised by our club and are limited to entrants from Wareham and District swimming club only and are held at our home pool, are announced at the beginning of the swimming year on the Club calendar, these include, Colour Galas and Splash Nights, registration is on the evening of the event, Club championships entry forms to be completed and returned by the closing date, the swimmer will be booked in as they come through the doors of the centre.


Events that are team events/leagues, such as Novice League, the Head Coach will announce the team before the event and will normally ask one of the open meet secretaries to contact you with an invitation to the event advising of dates, times and location.


All open meets entries are done via the club website, you will receive an automated email from the club with a meet invitation (Check your spam as these do not always go straight to your inbox).

Please follow the information given on the email and invite.

N.B. Please pay by the CLUB CLOSING DATE giving the Open Meet Secretary time to ensure all payments have been received and the correct paperwork is completed to send in before the Meet closing date. Any delay may result in jeopardising swimmers entries if the meet is on a first come first serve basis.

First Timer's Guide to Swimming Events.


Both parents and children may be very nervous at the prospect of swimming for the first time at a home or away gala, most likely because they do not know what to expect. With luck, this quick guide may help to answer some of the most common questions and settle some of the nerves.


Swimming kit to bring on the day


  • Two towels - one for poolside & one to get changed with.

  • Goggles that do not leak (a spare pair is good in case of emergency).

  • W&DSC hat and W&DSC Pool side top (Don’t worry if you don’t have one of these yet a loose fitting t-shirt to wear between races will do).

  • At least one drink for poolside. Please remind your swimmer to keep hydrated and a packed lunch/snacks for in-between sessions at an away gala, See our food and drink guide for ideas.




For most galas, swimmers need to let their coach or team manager know that they have arrived.

Please allow plenty of time for arrival as it is very stressful for a child to arrive late and worry about missing their race and their important warmup.


There is often a spectator entry fee and programmes are usually sold.

There is generally a raffle table at most galas, the proceeds of which are often used to host future galas, fees vary in price.




Coaches or officials will inform the swimmers if there is a warm up and when it is time for their allocated warm-up and which lane to swim in. The children are normally split into gender and age groups.

The time allowed for warm-up varies between galas so please tell your swimmer to listen for instructions.


Race time            


The swimmers will be called to a marshalling area by a steward for each individual race; they are often called up a few races in advance to ensure continuity between races. They are placed into order based on the lane they will be swimming in. As each race is run, the swimmers move round getting closer to the blocks to start.


Once they reach the starting blocks they are ready for the starter to sound the signal.

Silence is requested to ensure that all the swimmers can clearly hear instructions and the starter’s signal.


They are off and the results of all the hours of hard work and training can be seen in the pool. Feel free to cheer all the swimmers on and create a fun environment.



During the race, judges are watching for correct stroke technique, correctly executed turns and false starts. Incorrect technique or a mistake in any of these areas may result in disqualification. Should this happen to your child, it is not the end of the world and is a very normal part of learning to race. Even the best swimmers in the world can be disqualified. 


The results will show the swimmer has been disqualified, also the announcer will call out any disqualifications. The best way to learn and move forward though, is to ask a coach. They will be very supportive and explain what to do next time.


Race over


Once the race is over there is some time to wait before results are issued. Your child may have performed well in a heat but some of his or her age group may have raced in another heat. For this reason, times are compared to identify the results for each age category. The timekeepers stationed at the end of the pool diligently record the times for each swimmer and these are checked by the chief timekeeper and passed to the recording table. Electronic timing may also be used to ensure fair results.


When the results are printed and displayed on the wall poolside, there may be a medal, ribbon or badge to collect from the medal table by the swimmer. Results are usually announced.


Parents can record the gala name, date, stroke and distance with the all-important time achieved by the swimmer. Results and times are displayed on a wall near the spectator area as soon as possible following races and are normally available from the club's website within a few days of the event.


When entering future galas, the organisers are likely to request the swimmer’s personal best (PB) time for that stroke so that they can put swimmers with similar times into the same heat.


A big thank you is required for all the officials, timekeepers, helpers and coaches who volunteer their time generously to put on the event.


Most of all, both parents and swimmers must remember to enjoy the day and look out for dates of future galas to do it all again!


Our Club Events Calendar is full of opportunities.

Here you will find information on the targeted events to cater for all levels and the all important qualifying times.


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