Attending galas is a key requirement for all members of Asgard Swimming Club and it is expected that all competitive members abide by this. Swimmers are expected to attend two Galas before Christmas and at least 3 Galas between January and July.

Key Points to note when attending Galas

  • Concentrate on your turns as Swim Ireland officials are very strict on this and they will disqualify for simple mistakes.
  • Gala invites will be emailed and must be submitted through the Active Portal before the closing date. Payments must be made immediately to the club treasurer.  
  • For all Gala’s it is compulsory that swimmers wear their Asgard hats. This is to indicate who you are competing for and it also makes it much easier for officials, coaches and  spectators to spot you within the pool. More importantly it shows team spirit. If you do not have a hat or club gear please contact Elaine Noble.
  • To access swimmers gala results  -> Active Portal
  • 2019 Gala Calendar (subject to change)


Gala Types Explained

Minnows Galas  / Round Robin: Fun, friendly galas held by clubs, intended to introduce young swimmers to galas. The emphasis is very much on participation and familiarising the swimmer with the format of a gala. These are generally “age-group” galas- swimmers swim with other swimmers in their age group and medals awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each group.

Graded Galas: Leinster Swimming organises 2 Graded Galas each year. Swimmers are seeded according to their times in each event and swim against swimmers of similar ability rather than in the same age group. Where a swimmer has not entered a particular event before, they may enter with “No Time” or more preferably an estimated time based on training. Medals are awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in defined grades 1 to 7, the times for which are on the Leinster website. The great benefit of the graded gala is that it allows swimmers of all levels the opportunity to win a Leinster medal. Confusion sometimes arises among swimmers who find that even though they achieve a faster time than another swimmer they do not win a medal.

Club Galas: A number of clubs hold galas throughout the year and coaches decide which ones are most suitable for our club to attend. Consideration or qualifying times are generally less restrictive than major provincial and national galas, thereby allowing most of our swimmers to participate.

Distance Galas: Leinster Swimming holds 2 Distance Galas each year. Swimmers may enter 200m races in all strokes as well as 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle. These galas offer swimmers the opportunity to attempt more challenging races and achieve times required to enter these events at major provincial and national galas.

Leinster Division 2: Senior swimmers who have not achieved times for Leinster Division 1 may take part in The Leinster Division 2 gala. There are no qualifying times for this gala. Some swimmers from the junior club may also be advised by the coaches to participate in this gala. It is held each year around April/May and is the first of the major provincial and national galas to take place each summer. It is an age group gala, swimmers swim in heats seeded by times, with the top 10 in each age group qualifying for finals.

Leinster Division 1: All senior swimmers should familiarise themselves with the qualifying times for Leinster Division 1- available on Swim Leinster Website. This gala is generally held on the last weekend in May. The format is the same as Leinster Division 2- heats based on times, with top 10 in each age group qualifying for finals. This is a long course gala i.e. the pool is in 50m format

National Division 2: Held each year in Limerick on the last weekend in June, this gala is open to age-groups up to 16 plus an open category for over 17 year olds. Swimmers should familiarise themselves with qualifying times- available on Swim Ireland website.

National Division 1: Held every year in mid July for girls up to 14 years and boys up to 15 years. Qualifying times must be achieved. Swimmers over these age groups must enter the Irish Youths/ Seniors gala at end of July

Open Galas: A number of Open Galas are held at provincial and National Level throughout the year. They include Leinster Short Course, Irish Short Course, Leinster Long Course, Irish Long Course, Dave Mc Cullough Gala. Dates and Qualifying times for these galas may be found in the Swim Ireland Handbook.


What to Expect at a Gala

All swimmers are encouraged to participate in galas during the year. This is always the most difficult aspect of swimming for both parents and swimmers. Its takes a long time to get to know what galas to do, what events to enter and what happens on the day. Here are some tips for your first gala.

What to do? What to Wear? What to bring?
First of all: Relax!
Swim meets/gala are a fun learning experience. Getting nervous is normal, but don’t let it ruin the experience. You are probably nervous because you don’t know what to expect. Once you go to your first gala, it gets easier with each gala after that. Just have fun and swim hard. Give your best effort, and you can be proud of your results.
I’m at the gala, now what do I do?
The first thing you do is check in with your coach.

You will find that most of the swimmers and parents gather together in one area – ask your coach or buddy in the club.
After you put your gear down near the team, find your coaches and let them know you have arrived.
Warm-up – Your coach will tell you where and when to warm up. They will also tell you what they want you to do.
A scratch sheet has to be submitted to the organizers by the team 30 min prior to first event starting. If you do not check in, you may be scratched (taken out of events ), as club is fined for no shows at line up.
Check your event, heat number and lane number with your coach after the heat sheets are given out.
As the meet goes on, the events are seeded (placed according to their times) with everyone checked in being assigned a heat and lane.

After you swim a race
When you’ve finished racing you need to do 3 things,
· Always warm down after you swim if there is a warm down pool. Usually you warm down until your heart rate returns to normal, and you’re not breathing hard. Your coach will tell you exactly how much warm down to do.
· Talk to your coach. Your coach has things to tell you about your swim.
· Dry off, put on clothes, get a drink and prepare for next race


Dress warmly, and be prepared for everything! You can always take layers off, but if you didn’t bring enough your body is wasting energy before you race. Wear your Team T-shirt, sweatshirt, sweat pants, shoes and socks, hat. Because your gear looks like everyone else’s, be sure to have your name on all tags.

What do I bring?

  • At least 2 dry towels
    · Racing suit
    · Racing goggles
    · Asgard Hat
    · Extra suit /goggles / hat
    · Extra clothes in a dry bag
    · Flip Flops
    · Tracksuit
    · Water, sports drink (ex. Gatorade, Powerade) and/or fruit juices
    · Snacks (ex. pretzels, crackers, bagels, fruit, peanut butter, granola bars, cereal, yogurt, sandwiches)

Do I have to wear a Asgard Hat? Yes! It helps us see you in the pool! and is important to help build team spirit.

Club Tshirts should also be worn around the pool and particularly if you are on the podium collecting those well earned medals !!

Club hats Tshirts and Tracksuits can be ordered from the club secretary – Elaine Noble

Things to remember

The coaches are there to watch every swim, so their first priority is to the swimmers in the water. Please be patient when you come over to talk to them . If possible, they will talk to you right away, otherwise you will be asked to wait. For the coaches, the gala is like a 3-ring circus with people coming to ask questions, people in the water, and people coming after swims to get feedback. They can’t get into long discussions about everything.
Leaving the Gala
After your last event of the day you are welcome to leave the gala. Please make sure you tell your coach and Team Manager before you leave. If the meet ends in relays, make sure you are not swimming in a relay before you go. It is very disappointing to the other 3 swimmers to be ready for a relay only to find that the fourth swimmer went home already. Cheer on your team mates in their events, be respectful and supportive of one another.

Most importantly enjoy the Gala and fill in your log books with your updated swim times.


For some galas, clubs will be required to help with official duties.
Every parent is expected to do a portion of the duties assigned to the club. The club will be informed prior to the gala and details will be emailed to all those attending the gala. There will always be a short meeting before the gala starts (during the warm up time) where the duties are explained and you can ask any questions.

Make sure your swimmer has plenty of fluids and snacks during the day – try to keep the sweet treats until the end of the day.

Gala results will be available on your swimmers Active portal

See Swim Ireland and Swim Leinster Websites for further information on upcoming galas results and updates

2019 Gala Calendar (subject to change)