Timekeeping Course – Sun 22/5 at 6pm

In order to run the Club Championships according to Level 4 licensing criteria this year we are going to need a good contingent of qualified timekeepers on the lanes. With this in mind, we are going to be running a one-hour timekeeping course on SUNDAY 22 MAY at 6PM (during B squad training) in the Big Room at Impington. We are inviting available club members aged 14 or over, and parents, to register to train so that we have as many people as possible who can help us manage the galas.

To qualify as a timekeeper, you need to:

  • be aged 14 or over,
  • register as a club member with the ASA if you are not one already (the lovely Alison can do this for you)
  • attend this one-hour course, then
  • stand with a qualified timekeeper at a gala and take times in 20 races. The ref will compare these with the qualified timekeeper’s times, and if they are within a reasonable margin will sign you off as qualified.

The club is paying for the training so there is no charge to you. This course will work particularly well if you are likely to be attending a gala before the end of July as you will be able to take times and qualify at one of those.

Please let me know as soon as possible whether you are able to be involved. If your swimmers are 14 or over, please discuss it with them – it would be fabulous if we could have the swimmers timing each other at the Thursday club champs sessions rather than involving the parents! If they would usually be swimming at 6 on a Sunday, we can arrange training with a different squad on that date.

If you are interested in training but unavailable on 22 May, we are considering running another course in September, with the aim still of qualifying by November – please let me know if you could do this instead.

Timekeeper training does not oblige you to go any further towards a formal officiating qualification, but we are also (always!) looking for volunteers to train as judges because our contingent of judges is quite low compared to other clubs our size.  Please have a word with Suzy, Carol or Trish if you’re interested in becoming a judge.

Karl’s backstroke wisdom

Over the last week Karl has been working with the swimmers on backstroke technique.  He’s asked me to post these 4 images showing that there is no one single position for ‘take your marks’ for a backstroke start: everyone needs to find the position that is most effective for them.  Please pass them on to your swimmers. Thanks!

Backstroke start backstroke start 3 backstroke start 2 backstroke start 1


How to find an ASA number and times

Now, you know that Carol and I care very much about all of our swimmers and parents at the club, and will generally do all we can to assist whenever we can.  We, and the other coaches, are completely thrilled and overexcited by the fact that 45 (count ’em!) swimmers have applied for swims at the Newmarket gala, more than we’ve had at a gala for some considerable time (this stuff really makes us happy!). Obviously, this creates a little bit of work for Carol, who needs to sift and sort and check and collate and enter and calculate and email… so if you could make your forms as shiny and complete as possible before you hand them to her *in good time* for the deadline she sets, that would really help her.  As an aside, please note that whenever you are giving Carol a form rather than sending it off yourself, you need to make the cheque payable to ‘Bottisham Swimming Club’ as we make one collective payment for all swimmers with the electronic entry.  If you’re entering directly (e.g. if you missed Carol’s deadline!) then you need to make the cheque payable to the name on the form and hope the organisers don’t mind you sneaking in separately…

Allow me to introduce you to the ASA database, which will tell you your child’s ASA number if you plug in his/her surname.  It will also list his/her best licensed times, so if your child is a regular competitor and you’re struggling to get on to the club database for whatever reason, this is a good place to look for entry times.  However it doesn’t include results from unlicensed galas like JFL meets or club championships.

All times achieved are available, along with your child’s ASA number, on the club database (‘Swim Data‘). This continues to be slightly erratic in its operation, unfortunately, and I understand that quite a few people are still having problems getting on to it.  If you do have problems, please try resetting your password – if that doesn’t work, send me an email to JFL@bottishamswimclub.org.uk and tell me your login and when you tried to access the database, which will help me get an idea of how often the problems are occurring and may give me some clues on how to solve them.  Thanks!