FAQs

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Membership

1)    Do I have to be in competitive squads to become a member of COSAC?

2)    How do I join the club?

3)    How long does the COSAC membership last?

4)    What do I get with my COSAC membership?

5)    Is the City of Sydney squad membership the same as the City of Sydney Aquatic Club membership?

6)    I have purchased a 8 years and under Swimmer membership for my child, but they turn 9 throughout the year – will I have to purchase another membership after they turn 9?

 

Club Nights

7)    Do I have to be a competitive swimmer to race at club nights?

8)    What are the age restrictions for club nights?

9)    I am not a member – can I still race at club nights?

10)  How do I enter club nights?

11)  I forgot to enter before the closing date, can I still swim at club night?

12)  What is the expectation of parents at club nights and other club competitions?

13)  I have never done timekeeping before – what do I do?

14)  Why am I swimming against people way younger/way older than I am at club night?

15)  What is the maximum number of events I can enter at club night?

16)  Why can’t I enter back-to-back events at club night?

17)  It is my first time racing – how does this work?

18)  What is the difference between long course and short course?

19)  What do all the whistles and announcements mean before/during/after my race?

20)  What does PB mean?

 

Competition Definitions

21)  What is the difference between school carnival competitions and club competitions?

22)  What are all the club competition levels and who can compete?

23)  What is the difference between Junior, Senior and Open swimmer age groups?

24)  What is a target meet?

25)  Are there non-target meets?

 

Club Competitions

26)  Why do I have to arrive at the pool 1.5 hours before my first event at club competitions?

27)  I am in one of the first 4 events in the first session of the day – do I still arrive 1.5 hours before?

28)  What should I do when I arrive at the pool on competition day?

29)  When should I see my coach on competition day?

30)  I have qualified for 12 events. Should I do all these events over the weekend?

31)  How do you select relays?

 

Squads

32)  How do I move to the next level?

33)  Why do I need to wear a swim cap?

34)  What are the best fins/flippers to buy?

 

MEMBERSHIP

1)    Do I have to be in competitive squads to become a member of COSAC?

No. You can also be part of our learn to swim program at any of our City of Sydney venues. You can also become a Non-Swimmer member if you are a parent/guardian of a Swimmer member. If you are a swimmer, but not at a City of Sydney venue, you might be able to become a member of COSAC under certain circumstances.

 

2)    How do I join the club?

Please see our “Membership” tab for details. In short, you must contact our club registrar and once approved you must complete an online membership application on Swim Central.

 

3)    How long does the COSAC membership last?

COSAC memberships last 1 year, from September to September.

 

4)    What do I get with my COSAC membership?

-                 Free COSAC club t-shirt for new members and free club cap for new & returning members

-                 Free entry to all club nights held throughout the year (including summer and winter club championships)

-                 Free City of Sydney squad holiday intensives

-                 Access to club-only competitions (subject to meeting entry requirements)

-                 Access to all COSAC social activities and events

-                 Coach attendance at all targeted meets, including club nights

-                 Comprehensive Injury Insurance cover

 

5)    Is the City of Sydney squad membership the same as the City of Sydney Aquatic Club membership?

No. These are two different memberships.

City of Sydney squads and learn to swim memberships are fortnightly fees paid to Belgravia Leisure that allow swimmers to attend their sessions each week.

City of Sydney Aquatic Club is a separate membership with an annual fee that allows swimmers to compete in various club competitions.

Both memberships are purchased separately and are not available as a package deal.

 

6)    I have purchased an 8 years and under Swimmer membership for my child, but they turn 9 throughout the year – will I have to purchase another membership after they turn 9?

No. Your membership will still be valid for the entire year until the membership is due for renewal in September.

 

CLUB NIGHTS

7)    Do I have to be a competitive swimmer to race at club nights?

No. As long as you can swim 25m, unaided and non-stop you will be able to race at club nights.

 

8)    What are the age restrictions for club nights?

Club nights are open to all ages, as long as they can swim 25m, unaided and non-stop.

 

9)    I am not a member – can I still race at club nights?

All learn to swim and squad swimmers at any of our City of Sydney venues are entitled to 1 free trial club night with their regular squad fees. Please contact the club for details if you wish to come for a trial.

 

10) How do I enter club nights?

Entries will be done online. For all members of COSAC, entries will be done through Swim Central. For swimmers who wish to come for a trial, you must enter via email. For more information, see the "How to Enter a Swim Meet" under the "Competition" tab.

 

11) I forgot to enter before the closing date, can I still swim at club night?

Although it is not advised, you can arrive on the night and see if there are any available spots in races for that evening. There is a risk that there will be no spots available and we will not create a new heat just for that swimmer, so we strongly encourage all swimmers to have their entries in (on Swim Central or email) by the advertised closing date.

 

12) What is the expectation of parents at club nights and other club competitions?

As a part of club membership for swimmers, all parents are expected to help out in whatever capacity they are requested, when available. These duties include things like timekeeping on club nights, as well as timekeeping and runner duties at other club competitions. We encourage all parents to volunteer their time and also understand when we have taken the time to assign duties to parents for certain meets.

 

13) I have never done timekeeping before – what do I do?

At club nights, approach the recorders’ desk and inform them that you are volunteering to time keep. Once all the timekeepers are together, one of the COSAC coaches or committee members will instruct you how to do this. Basically, you need the ability to press a button at the end of a race and count the amount of laps a swimmer does. Easy!

 

14) Why am I swimming against people way younger/way older than I am at club night?

This can be for one of two reasons:

1)    This is your first time swimming at club night, or the first time you are swimming this event. Our system groups people of similar ability and this is determined by times. If you do not have an entry time for an event, you will be grouped with other people who also do not have a time. At COSAC, we strive to group “No Time (NT)” entries with people of similar ages, but sometimes this is not always possible.

2)    You have swum this event before and have an entry time. You will be grouped with swimmers that have similar entry times to you in order for the race to be with people at similar abilities. You might be just as fast as someone 2 years older than you.

 

15) What is the maximum number of events I can enter at club night?

All swimmers must enter a maximum of 3 events at club night. This is to ensure that the night remains on time, as well as providing the best opportunity for swimmers to achieve success in all 3 races that they enter.

 

16) Why can’t I enter back-to-back events at club night?

This gives swimmers the best chance at achieving success in all the races that they enter. If a swimmer enters two events back-to-back with each other, one or both the events will suffer as a result.

 

17) It is my first time racing – how does this work?

When you arrive on race night, approach one of the COSAC coaches or committee members (in COSAC uniform) and inform them that this will be your first time racing. You will be able to take part in a warm-up as instructed by the COSAC coaches. This warm-up will be age and skill level-appropriate. Please take note of where the marshalling area is located prior to races starting. When your event is announced for marshalling, proceed to the marshalling area and listen for your name. When your name is called, follow the instructions of the marshal and proceed to your assigned lane. The check-starter will confirm if you are in your correct lane before the race begins.

 

18) What is the difference between long course and short course?

Long course is when races are held in a 50m pool. These are usually held over the summer season, i.e. October – April.

Short course is when races are held in a 25m pool. These are usually held over the winter season, i.e. May – September.

 

Short course times are almost always faster than long course times, as swimmers have an extra wall to push off during their race. This means that times can be achieved in a short course pool for some long course meets, but all swimmers who achieve this in a short course pool will be entered into the meet on the entry time.

 

19) What do all the whistles and announcements mean before/during/after my race?

Before

-       Long whistle – swimmers step up on the blocks (if you are not yet confident enough to dive from the block, proceed to the side of the block and assume a diving position). **BACKSTROKE EVENTS** - There will be 2x long whistles: 1 signals for swimmers to jump into the water, 2 signals for athletes to prepare themselves by holding onto the blocks and feet against the wall. The starter will wait until everyone is in position and still before they take the next step.

-       “Stand down swimmers” – Swimmers must step back down off the block. This could be because of a number of reasons: a swimmer might be unsure of what to do and keeps making mistakes, the timing system may not be ready, there may be an obstacle/person in the pool. After the issue has been cleared up, swimmers will be put through the first step again.

-       “Take your marks” – This announcement is for swimmers to prepare themselves to be ready to dive in the water.

-       *Signal* - This means GO! The signal can vary between events. At COSAC club nights, we use a short honking sound.

During

-       Repeated whistles from starter / repeated honking sound from speaker – This could mean that someone has false started and caused others to false start as well. Swimmers are being asked to stop to be able to restart the race.

-       15m rope is dropped – Same as above.

After

-       Swimmers must wait until all other swimmers have touched the wall to conclude the race. Listen to starter’s instructions.

-       Two short whistles – Swimmers can hop out of the water towards the side that is closest. I.e. swimmers in lanes 1-4 will exit the pool from the left side, while swimmers in lanes 5-8 will exit from the right side (if available).

-       “To the lane rope swimmers” (the next race has a dive) or “Past the flags swimmers” (the next race is Backstroke) – The starter may instruct swimmers to move to these areas so that the next race can start before swimmers have left the water. Once the race has started, swimmers are encouraged to exit the pool the same as mentioned above.

20) What does PB mean?

“Personal Best” time.

 

COMPETITION DEFINITIONS

21) What is the difference between school carnival competitions and club competitions?

One of the main differences between school carnival competitions and club competitions is that one is based off final placings to progress to the next level (school), whereas the other is based off qualifying times to progress to the next level (club).

Example 1:    School: Johnny came 1st at his school carnival in 50m Freestyle with a time of 42.93s He gets to go to the Zone carnival and is then seeded in the appropriate heat according to his time.

Club: Johnny came 1st at club night in 50m Freestyle with a time of 42.93s. The qualifying time for Johnny’s age group for 50m Freestyle at MetSEA is 41.00s, so Johnny will not be able to compete at MetSEA until he has achieved the qualifying time before the entry closing date.

Example 2:    School: Laura came 7th at her school carnival in 200m Individual Medley with a time of 4:01.06. Only the first 3 people can progress to the Zone carnival for this event, so Laura is not able to go to Zone.

                        Club: Laura came 7th at club night in 200m Individual Medley with a time of 4:01.06. The qualifying time for Laura’s age group for 200m Individual Medley at MetSEA is 4:02.00, so Laura will be able to attend MetSEA. Her entry time will determine what heat she is assigned to.

 

Another main difference is the age groups. School carnival competitions have swimmers compete as the age they will turn in that calendar year, while club competitions will determine the “age as at” date according to when the competition will be swum.

Example 1:    School: Johnny’s birthday is 3rd December 2010. He is turning 10 this year, so he will race in the 10 years age group for this entire year until December 31st.

                        Club: Johnny wants to compete at a club competition being held on April 22nd. The program states “age as at Saturday 22nd April 2020”. This means Johnny will be 9 years old on this date and will swim as a 9 year old for this event.

Example 2:    School: Laura’s Birthday is June 19th 2008. Laura will turn 12 this year, so she will race in the 12 years age group for this entire year until December 31st.

                        Club: Laura wants to compete at a club competition to be held on the weekend of her birthday (Saturday 18th June – Sunday 19th June). The program states “age as at Saturday 18th June 2020”. Although Laura will turn 12 during the competition, the “age as at” date determines the age group she will compete in, so she will therefore compete as an 11 year old for the entire weekend.

 

22) What are all the club competition levels and who can compete?

-       Club nights – Open to COSAC swimmers (and free trials) only.

-       Local club competitions – Open to all swimmers affiliated with a swim club. Some of these competitions may require qualifying times or may have strict timeline cut-offs (Eg. entries will close once the timeline lasts until 4:30pm).

-       MetSEA – Stands for “Sydney Metro South East”. All clubs in the MetSEA area competing against each other. Qualifying times apply. Usually includes both Junior and Senior competitions.

-       Metropolitan Championships – All clubs in the Sydney Metropolitan area competing against each other. Qualifying times apply. Summer competition is split into Junior and Senior, while winter is combined ages.

-       State Championships – All clubs in NSW competing against each other. Qualifying times apply. Split into Junior, Senior and Open competitions.

-       National Age Championships – All clubs throughout Australia competing against each other. Qualifying times apply. Open to Senior swimmers only.

-       National Open Championships – All clubs throughout Australia competing against each other. Qualifying times apply. Open to Senior and Open swimmers.

 

23) What is the difference between Junior, Senior and Open swimmer age groups?

Junior swimmers:     Boys 13 & under, Girls 12 & under

Senior swimmers:    Boys 14-17, Girls 12-18

Open swimmers:      Men 17 & over, Women 18 & over

 

The different age groups for different genders is due to the research behind the age at which swimmers’ bodies develop through puberty. This has a large contribution towards retention in the sport and the age groups are seen to be a positive step in helping more swimmers remain in the sport for longer.

 

24) What is a target meet?

Target meets are meets designated by the COSAC coaches for the club to attend as a team. These meets can be competitions such as MetSEA, Metropolitan, State and Nationals, but can also include meets that allow swimmers extra opportunities to achieve qualifying times before closing dates, or attempt events that they have not tried before (Eg. Open water events). All COSAC swimmers are expected to attend all target meets, where available and assuming the entry requirements have been met.

 

All target meets will have a COSAC coach in attendance to provide valuable post-race feedback, as well as warm-ups, cool downs, and pre-race tips.

 

25) Are there non-target meets?

Yes. These events are not advised by COSAC to attend, as there will be no coach in attendance and this might also clash with the season plan the coaches have made to achieve the best success with the swimmers.

 

CLUB COMPETITIONS

26) Why do I have to arrive at the pool 1.5 hours before my first event at club competitions?

The reason for 1.5 hours before can be broken up in terms of time:

-       30 mins allows you time to arrive earlier just in case the meet is running earlier than scheduled, which allows swimmers to still complete an appropriate warm-up and not be in a rush and stressed before their race.

-       1 hour allows time for an appropriate warm-up, change into race suit, and marshalling on time for your event.

 

27) I am in one of the first 4 events in the first session of the day– do I still have to arrive 1.5 hours before?

We encourage all swimmers in one of the first 4 events in the session of that day to arrive 30 mins prior to the start of the official warm-up time for that day. I.e. if warm-up commences at 8am, swimmers should arrive no later than 7:30am.

 

28) What should I do when I arrive at the pool on competition day?

The first thing you should do when you arrive is seek out your coach, regardless of how early/how late you have arrived. Your coach will then be able to inform you when you should begin your dryland/activation, and then what time you should come down to warm up.

 

29) When should I see my coach on competition day?

-       When you first arrive

-       Before you warm-up

-       After you warm-up

-       Before each race

-       After each race

-       After you swim-down

 

Things change throughout the day, so it is important to always be in contact with your coach on competition day for them to inform you of any changes that might be relevant to you. It is also important to see your coach to get appropriate tips and feedback before and after your races.

 

30) I have qualified for 12 events. Should I do all these events over the weekend?

No. Speak with your coach to prioritise events that you can compete in over the weekend. For best results, all swimmers should not be competing in more than 3 individual events PER DAY. That means 6 events over a weekend. Trust your coach, as they know what they are talking about when they give you suggestions towards what races to enter.

This method of prioritising also saves you a lot of money on entry fees!

 

31) How do you select relays?

We select relays considering the following criteria:

-       The swimmers that are the fastest in their respective strokes (Top 4 Freestylers for a Freestyle relay, or fastest combination for a Medley relay)

-       Reliability of swimmers (have they attended all other meets and been on time?)

-       Training commitment of swimmers (do they regularly attend training and put in 100% effort?)

-       Age restrictions

-       Team qualifying times

 

SQUADS

32) How do I move to the next level?

Look at the overview of the squads in the “Squads Structure” tab. If you feel that you are at the level of the next squad up, we encourage you to speak to your coach regarding what you need to work on to progress to the next level. Some elements that may be contributing to whether you stay in your current level or move up to the next level might be as follows:

-       Club night participation

-       COSAC membership

-       Active listening and understanding of sets

-       Reading the pace clock

-       Achieving success in designated test sets

-       Attendance requirements at training (including dryland/gym, if applicable)

-       Attendance requirements at targeted meets (as set out by the COSAC coaches)

-       Appropriate execution of skills for that level (starts, turns, finishes, underwater)

-       Achievement of times set out by coach

-       Swimmer’s desire to become a competitive or social/fitness swimmer

-       Times achieved at competitions (I.e. MetSEA, Metropolitan, State, etc.)

 

33) Why do I need to wear a swim cap?

COSAC encourages all swimmers to wear swim caps when training and racing. As part of your membership, you will receive a free COSAC swim cap, so show off your club colours with pride with your teammates! Swim caps keep your hair out of your face no matter what length, and it also helps you go faster through the water!

 

34) What are the best fins/flippers to buy?

We suggest purchasing short blade fins. These help replicate the movement required for kicking, while also developing the appropriate muscles for that kicking movement. Short blade fins also have less chance to cause cramps! Speak to your coach for their suggestions on the best brand of fins to buy.