All swimmers are encouraged to take part in Splash Nights. These are held four times a year and may provide swimmers with their first experience of a friendly yet competitive atmosphere and an introduction to the organisation of competitions. This also provides an opportunity for the inexperienced to mingle with the more experienced swimmers and since all events are graded by time no one need feel out of place. All swimmers are timed and are given a ‘Certificate of Merit’ with the time and stroke shown so they can keep these as a permanent record of their progress. These times are also recorded by the club and used for team selection alongside those obtained in Championships and galas.
Each year, during June and July, the club championships are held. All club swimmers that have been members of the club for at least three months are entitled to enter and should be encouraged to do so. The more people that enter the better the atmosphere and competition. There are over 50 cups and trophies to be won, but all swimmers obtain a ‘Certificate of Merit’ and both parents and swimmers can experience an enjoyable evening or two. There is also a club presentation night held shortly after the club championships where again, everyone is encouraged to attend.
These are competitions between Dunstable and other clubs from the surrounding areas. Like most sports, some galas are held at home and others away which may involve travel. If the distance is deemed far enough, the club will provide a coach to transport all the swimmers, coaches and officials. A team list will be displayed on the notice board 2/3 weeks prior to the Gala, Swimmers selected should confirm their attendance by placing a tick against their name.
Swimmers should regard their selection to swim for the club as an honour resulting from the hard work they have put in during training and the efforts of the clubs coaches. Don’t let the coach, the other team members or yourself down by not turning up. If a swimmer fails to attend it could cost the club an important victory so early notification is essential if you’re unable to swim. This will then enable a reserve to be selected in your place.
These are events where the swimmers enter themselves, unlike galas when they are entered by the club. Usually, a minimum qualification time is required. Details of open meets are placed on the notice board with details of when entries should be returned by and to whom.
Some swimmers from Dunstable have been chosen to swim for Bedfordshire in the past. When this happens, they are awarded their county colours, which is an honour for both the swimmer and the club.