The Surrey County Championships are held every year usually between February and early March over a number of weekends. This is the first championship competition that all club swimmers should be aiming to take part in. Championship competitions normally come in three levels, the first one being County Championships, the second one being Regional Championships and the final one being National Championships.
This year's championships are split between two levels, the A level and the B level, each of these levels has their own qualifying times (please see attached information). In order to swim in the championships you must have the qualifying time for the relevant event, and these are different depending upon which level you are able to do. The times must have been gained in a licensed competition, like one of the open meets regularly advertised by the club, for example Dorking or the up-and-coming Crawley open meets, you may also hear them referred to as level 1, level 2, level 3 and level 4 open meets.
It's also worth noting that our own club Championships was a licensed meet so anytimes from that competition can also be used to enter the Surrey Championships.
Anyway back to the qualifying times, you'll see from the attached information there are quite a few pages with a lot of times on them, DON'T panic. The first thing to bear in mind is there's two levels to the competition the A level, and the B level, if you look at the qualifying times list you will see a heading like "Boys County A qualifying times and County B upper limit times, short-course pool". This means if your swimmer has a time faster than the listed time they can enter A level event, if their time is between this time and the "County B lower qualifying time, short-course pool" for the same event (the county B lower qualifying times are listed on a different page) then they can enter the B level event.
Where the qualifying times refer to "short-course" they are talking about times achieved in a 25 m pool i.e. the same size as Donyngs, where they refer to "Long course" they are talking about times achieved in a 50 m pool i.e. like the pool at the K2 leisure centre in Crawley (twice the length of our pool).
Okay so that covers qualifying times, well not quite, even if you have the qualifying time you are not guaranteed a place in the competition, it will depend on a number of swimmers entered into that event, if you think about it they only have so many lanes in the pool and so much time in the day to do the competitions, so there has to be limits. Unfortunately you never know what the limits are as it depends on the number of swimmers entered and the times they've done, which basically means you need to keep doing open meets right up to the closing date in order to give yourself or your swimmer the best chance of getting a place in the competition.
I would urge all swimmers and parents that have or can get the qualifying times by the closing date to enter this event as it is an important part of your development as a swimmer. Don't forget if possible you need to keep doing open meets to improve your times, or get times for events didn't previously have times for.
If you are new to the club or want to do an event you don't have any times for you will need to speak to your coach to see if they can arrange to get you a time during training sessions (this depends a number of swimmers in the water and availability of time) that you can use to enter open meet in order to get a licensed qualifying time for the County Championships.
You won't be able to enter the event until the entry forms are released later in the year, however you do need to get the times (or improve existing times) by entering open meets over the next few weeks as these will have closed before the county entry forms are released.
If you need to check what license times you currently have please follow the link below to the ASA individual best times list:
Once you followed the link select "last 12 months" and put in your family surname, choose your swimmer from the list will appear. Remember the times must've been achieved since the date stated in the attached paperwork.
I have attached to this email three documents, the qualifying times, a key detail sheet with important information on it the championships, and the list of up-and-coming open meets provided by our competition secretaries Colin and Jo, so you will know what events are available to allow you to either get or improve your qualifying times and when the closing dates for those are.
If there are any questions on this or any other swimming matters please contact me. The best method of contact is to come and talk to me after any session, or send me an email, however I do get a lot of emails so it can sometimes take me a while to get back people.