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Morpeth ASC is a competitive swimming club. Swimmers in Competitive squads are expected to compete regularly at targeted competitions.

(Please see squad criteria for more information)

Competitions are a key part of swimmers training programme. Swimmers learn through competing and get the chance to put what they have been working on in training into practice. They also allow the coaching team to assess progress and identity any areas that need to be worked on (group & individual).

Swimmers will be asked to compete at competitions appropriate to their level and stage of development.

(See squad criteria for more information about specific squad requirements). 

Swimmers will be advised via email which competitions and events to enter and an online entry form sent to you by email. 

Payment for events should be made at the time of submitting your entry.

Any rejected entries will be refunded.

(if you are struggling to pay, please let us know at


Information about all galas will be published on the website (upcoming galas)

and sent out by email. 

Entries must be made before the closing date. The club closing date is sooner than the date given by the host club.  This is so the competition secretary has time to input entries into the entry file and send them to the host in time.

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Gala Information: Image

Reasons To Enter A Gala
Morpeth ASC is a competitive swimming club and we encourage children to compete as we believe it is one of the key ways to help swimmers to become faster and better. It’s essential that swimmers make every effort to compete for several reasons:

To see how much progress you have made

To put your skills into practice.

To provide coaches with vital information to enable them to assist you to set goals and targets to work towards.

To improve your Personal Best (PB) times.

To stretch yourself to your limits 

To achieve qualifying times for other galas

To learn from experienced swimmers

To represent Morpeth ASC

To meet new people

To have fun

To win!

Attending A Gala

When attending a gala please arrive 30 minutes before scheduled warm up times. These can be found on the club website or on the host club’s website. 

Upon arrival, the swimmers go straight to the changing area whilst parents queue to enter the spectators’ area.

Swimmers stay with the team for the whole session (unless advised otherwise by a coach or team manager).


Parents should not go onto poolside at any point throughout competitions or enter the changing area (unless an absolute emergency e.g. illness).


Swimmers can leave poolside at the end of the session for lunch or to go home. 

Remember change for lockers (usually 20p, 50p or £1)

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What you need to take with you on to poolside

Once changed swimmers should go and meet their team on poolside taking with them:

  • Warm Up costumes 

  • Racing Suit – if appropriate

  • Club swimming hat & spare

  • Goggles & spare

  • A towel to dry off after each race

  • Club T-shirt to wear in between races & shorts or leggings

  • Club hoodie / Zip up

  • Trainers & socks only used for poolside / Sliders or similar

  • Food and drink for each session 

Once the team is assembled the team manager or coach will provide all necessary instructions for your races.

Swimmers should know which events they are competing in.

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Gala Information: Text
Gala Information: Text
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Graded meets are aimed at novice swimmers to introduce them to competitive swimming in individual events. These are hosted by a number of clubs throughout the year at different venues.

As these competitions are aimed at novice competitors, the organisers will enforce an upper entry time for each event. Swimmers who have surpassed the upper entry times for a specific event will not be allowed to compete in that event. The meets are usually open to competitors of all age groups, although some may be specific to swimmers of specific age groups.


These are similar to graded meets in that swimmers will compete in individual events. However, there will be no upper entry time. This will allow swimmers of any standard to enter the meet. These are generally at a higher standard than graded meets. Some open meets may have a lower entry limit, restricting their entries to swimmers of a higher standard.

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Gala Information: Text
Gala Information: Text


This competition is aimed at the best swimmers across Northumberlnad, Tyne & Wear, Durham and  Tees Valley There are qualification times which swimmers must achieve prior to entering the event.

The championships run in February and March over two weekends  at Sunderland Aquatic Centre. 


This is an annual team swimming competition where clubs compete against each other across a range of relay events. The team is selected by the Head Coach

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There are two North East Regional competitions aimed at the best swimmers in the North East region.


Short Course Championships

 AGE Group (11yrs/12yrs/13yrs) & Open (14yrs & Over)

Usually held in November at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.


Long Course Championships

Age Group (11/12 yrs/ 13yrs/14yrs)

Usually held over two weekends in May at The John Charles Centre for Sport, Leeds

Open (15yrs & Over)

Usually held in May at Ponds Forge, Sheffield. 

 Qualification times must be achieved prior to entering the event.

Qualification times are posted in Upcoming Galas when available

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Short Course NER Team 2021

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These events are the highest standard of competition in the domestic calendar.

Qualification is via invitation based on ranking of swims achieved in long course competition within a defined qualification window.

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Level 1 – is aimed at national qualifiers and swimmers close to national qualification looking for opportunities to achieve national qualifying times. These meets take place in 50m pools and have set minimum qualifying times for entry.


Level 2 – is also aimed at national and regional qualifiers and swimmers close to regional qualification. These meets take place in 25m pools and also have a set minimum time for entry.


Level 3 – is for club swimmers who are seeking regional and county qualifying times. These meets often have qualifying times and upper limit times set at an appropriate level and will provide a program throughout the year to support the requirements of swimmers below regional level.


Level 4 – is for club swimmers and those beginning to enter individual open competition. There is sometimes an upper limit time, but no lower qualifying standard, meaning that everyone with an entry time slower than the upper limit (or no time at all) can enter.


National Qualifying Times will be accepted from meets licensed at level 1 and 2 for entry to National Age Groups. Entry times for National Youth must have been achieved at a level 1 meet.


Regional Qualifying Times will be accepted from meets licensed at level 1, 2 and 3.

County Qualifying Times will be accepted from meets licensed at level 1, 2, 3 and 4

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Long Course Vs Short Course Swimming.

The differences

50m pool (Long Course) Vs 25 m pool (Short Course)

Short course=more turns=more speed. 

Swimmers should be faster Short course than Long course due to the extra speed and swimming velocity they get pushing off the wall every 25m and if efficient, their underwater fly kick will be faster than all of their strokes (one exception to this is that 50m and some 100m events are similar in time for those young swimmers who have not fully developed their turns and underwater skills).

Swimming Long course is harder.

Studies have shown that swimmers' Heart Rates are significantly higher and lactate build up increases sooner when swimming Long Course, which affects performance, so swimming long course is significantly harder than swimming the ‘same event’ short course.

Number of strokes

Swimmers will take more strokes swimming Long course than Short course, less turns=less of the swim underwater=more strokes. For example on a 200 Back with 8 underwaters, 10m at start 5m each turn= around 45m will be underwaters. Long course this is 4 underwater, 10 m at starts, 5m each turn= around 25m underwater. So when swimming 200 back long course a swimmer could easily swim 20m further than they would swimming 200 back short course.

So, the events have the same name but they are not the same event when you break it down!


Swimmers should keep records of actual Short course and Long course Personal Bests.

Often the times on programmes you purchase at competitions are ‘converted times’. These times are NOT always your child’s Personal Best. Sometimes they might not even have done the event Long course before.

All swimmers should keep track of both Short Course and Long Course Personal Bests.

Obtain a copy of both before each meet Converted times.

Your child’s short course time has been taken and around 2% 0.6-0.8 per 50m is added on (You can check this out for yourself to get an example at This is to give an estimate of what your child should be able to swim Long course(or vice versa) but it is an estimate and the same maths is applied to all swimmers regardless of their height, weight, stroke length, turn speed, underwater speed, swimming efficiency and experience of swimming long course.


To illustrate why it is important they keep track of their Long course PBS and sport course PBs separately:

The Short course world record for 400 Free is 3:32 which converted to Long course is 3:37, yet no man has EVER broken 3:40 Long course the Long course world record is ‘only’ 3:40! This however is a fully grown man..... Your swimmer is young, growing, fast improving so they are a lot more likely to beat their converted times or sometimes even their short course bests.

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