Stretford is affiliated to a number of local swimming associations and participates in various leagues. Galas take place throughout the year (mainly March – June and September -December) and members of the club may be invited by the Head Coach to compete for Stretford.
Depending on the competition, Stretford may compete against as many as 5 other clubs at a gala. Swimmers either compete as individuals in any one event, or else as part of a team in a relay. Some galas are all relay events, whereas others use a mix of relays and individual events. Points are allocated according to the position of the swimmer in each event and the points then accumulate towards the final totals for the club. Depending on the age of the swimmer, they will swim either 1,2 or 4 lengths of the pool, but for younger swimmers (age 8-11) this is usually only 1 length of the pool per race.
According to each competition, the age 0f a swimmer, will be determined by their age on a certain date in the year of the competition. For example, when the date used is the 30th September, a swimmer whose 12th birthday is in May will nevertheless compete in March as a 12 year old. As Stretford compete in competitions using various dates and age bandings (e.g. 11 year olds only in one, 11 & 12 year olds together in another) it can sometimes become a little confusing. However, it does mean that with the mix of competition types and age bands, there is a healthy variety of opportunities for swimmers as they progress from year to year. More details can be found on the websites for each swimming association that organises these competitions.
Please be aware that to be eligible to compete in some of them, the swimmer needs to be registered at category 2 with the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) (see here).
With regard to Club Competitions, the relevant associations to which Stretford are affiliated are: