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What is Swimming Gold Coast?

Swimming Gold Coast (SGC) is a regional body tasked with the oversight of swimming within the Gold Coast region. We are affiliated with Swimming Queensland, who in turn are affiliated with Swimming Australia. SGC has the responsibility to facilitate qualifying club swim meets that can be run by any of our 23 affiliated clubs.

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Who owns Swimming Gold Coast?

Swimming Gold Coast (SGC) is a not for profit sporting association incorporated under the QLD Association Incorporations Act 1981 Section 19 - Incorporation No.: IA09743. As such there is no physical ownership entity, however, the association is governed to operate in the best interests of all members.

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Who manages Swimming Gold Coast?

Swimming Gold Coast (SGC) is managed by an executive committee, governed by our association constitution. The executive committee consists of a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Details of the current executive committee can be found here. Providing assistance to the executive committee include the Race Secretary, responsible for the management of the SGC run Championship meets, the technical committee, consisting of 5 of Australia's best and most qualified technical officials and the development committee, responsible for the evolution of new, innovative and exciting development concepts and their operation. Please note that all of these roles are volunteer positions and nobody running this association receives any financial benefit.

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What does Swimming Gold Coast do?

Swimming Gold Coast (SGC) is tasked with operating in the bests interests of its members. As such, we facilitate competitive racing opportunities for swimmers within the region, whilst also running Regional level Championship events for all swimmers aged 8yrs and over. Aside from these activities, SGC also operates extensive development related programs for swimmers, coaches and technical officials, information can be found in a development section. Furthermore, we provide our members with as much up to date information from the swimming world, including local, state, national and international events and results, as well as provide access to useful tips to help the swimmers achieve their full potential. More information can be found in our resources section. In relation to our clubs, we help facilitate their meets, provide helpful advice and opportunities to their members as well as providing substantial funds each season, depending on the clubs results at our Championship meets, as per our club awards.

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How can I help?

We are always on the lookout for more people willing to help. As you can see from our EVENTS page, we organise a large number of events throughout the season, with only a very small number of people. Please contact our secretary - secretary@swimminggoldcoast.org.au to find out about any help required - it would be greatly appreciated.

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Memberships

What types of memberships are available?

The membership structure is devised by Swimming Australia and applied throughout all clubs across the country. Each club can structure those memberships according to their situation, however, there are 8 main categories.

1. Life Member

2. Accredited Coach

3. Accredited technical official

4. Parent

5. Competitive Swimmer 9yrs+

6. Recreational swimmer 9yrs+

7. Swimmer 8Yrs & under

8. Come and Try Swimmer

For more information on membership structures and joining a club - click here. Whilst another awesome membership resource is the SQ member guide - click SQ member guide.

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How much does it cost?

Membership fees comprise of portions made up from Swimming Australia, Swimming Queensland, Swimming Gold Coast and each club. For the 2022-23 season, SGC fees are $15 for competitive swimmers 9yrs +, $10 for recreational swimmers, $5 for 8yr & under swimmers and free for all other categories. Clubs are free to decide what they charge for memberships. It is important to note that some clubs offer different merchandise with their membership, whilst others do not, so research is required if this is a determining factor in your club selection. 

In addition, all club memberships are regulated by Swimming Australia through their membership portal called "Swim Central".

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What is Swim Central?

Swim Central is the membership and event entry system that empowers parents, swimmers, administrators and coaches to participate and run community swimming. All information relating to memberships, accreditations and results are stored on the Swim Central portal. For more information click here.

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What if my details change?

It is your responsibility to maintain your Swim Central profile. If your details change, then you must go into your Swim Central profile and make the relevant changes - this is the only way to ensure you get all the information you require.

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Swim Meets

How do swim meets work?

There are four types of swim meets run on the Gold Coast.

  1. Firstly, there are four (4) Championship meets. These are the SGC Short Course Championship, SGC Relay Championship, SGC Sprint Championship and SGC Championship, these are all qualifying meets (more information below). These are organised and operated by SGC, with on the day assistance from fantastic volunteers from clubs around the region.

  2. The second type of meet are club meets which are organised and operated by swim clubs. SGC puts together a swim meet calendar taking into consideration all other swimming related events within QLD and Australia and allows the clubs to tender on these meets. Once awarded by SGC, it is up to the club to organise the meet according to the underlying standards and processes, as requested by SGC and Swimming Queensland (SQ). These processes are available in our club resources section. All of our Championship and club meet can be found in our SGC event calendar.

  3. The third tier of swim meets is the non-qualifying meet. These meets are again organised and run by the clubs according to their own requirements. Generally, the aim of these meets is to provide racing opportunities to younger swimmers without the pressure of it being an official qualifying meet, whilst also allowing for rule tolerances. Clubs are able to invite whomever they choose provided they have some form of membership within Swimming Australia. (see membership Q & A). SGC strongly encourages more of these meets in order to provide more fun, exciting racing for younger members with the aim of teaching racing skills.

  4. The final tier is club nights. Club nights are again organised and run by the clubs. These generally take the form of a quick few races at the end of a training session on a night during the week. These are also non-qualifying meets and, again, strongly encouraged by SGC. For more information on non-qualifying meets and club nights, please contact your club.

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How do I know when swim meets are on?

All SGC and club run swim meets can be found in the events section of this website. Notification will also be sent out via Team App and our social Media pages. Alternatively, most coaches and clubs have information that they can provide you that outlines which swim meets are best for your club. SGC strongly encourages parents to take the advice from their swimmers' coach, as they have a complete understanding of your child's requirements when it comes to racing. This information, as well as any information regarding non-qualifying meet and club nights should be available from your club.

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How do I enter swim meets?

Usually, the only way you can enter SGC Championship meets and club run meets is through Swim Central (explained above). There are occasionally situations that arise where some swimmers need to manually enter, but instructions for these will be outlined in the meet invite. Entries to any non-qualifying meets and club nights may also be available on Swim Central, however, you are best to contact your club regarding their process for these events.

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What are qualifying swim meets?

As the name states, qualifying meets allow the times achieved at those meets to be used to qualify or enter high quality meets, such as regional, state or national level championships. In order to gain qualifying status, meets need to operate under a strict guidelines around type of timing system used, number of qualified officials and approval by an authorised body such as SGC, SQ or Swimming Australia (SA).

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Why were 8 & 9yr old swimmers taken out of transition meets this season?

This change was made due to a number of factors.

  1. Firstly, swimmers 9yr and under do not need qualifying times for any further pathway event.

  2. Incredibly long transition meets that eventuated last season were draining to all spectators, technical officials, coaches and most importantly the swimmers themselves.

  3. From a technical official perspective, we were also, unfortunately, disqualifying a large number of younger swimmers whose techniques needed more refining at a training level. These disqualifications can have a permanently negative effect on young swimmers and that is not our aim.

There were many other reasons why we took this path, however, these were the main three, and the decision was made after talking with many swimming stakeholders, especially the coaches and technical officials and was not opposed by the meet planning committee.

As an additional opportunity for our younger swimmers, SGC is actively encouraging clubs to hold non-qualifying meets for swimmers from 5yrs - 11yrs (as outlined above). These can only be run by clubs if they have the support  and willingness of club parents and/or older swimmers to volunteer and help out the next generation. Please contact your club and find out how you can help get these meets going. Other regions are now doing them and our younger swimmers will be left behind if these aren't supported at a club level.

Also, we have been, and will continue to strongly encourage clubs to hold club nights, including inter-club events, for all ages, where the primary focus can be fun and the development of a love of swimming.

As a final point, we also opened up the SGC Championship event in March to 8 and 9yr old swimmers for the first time in many years to enable them to experience all four of our Championship meets. 

Even so, this season, we have 5 dedicated development meets on the calendar, a school qualifier meet in February for those swimmers aged 9yrs and over hoping to qualify for South Coast School Trials, as well as all 4 Championship meets and the potential for 9yr olds to compete at the Patron Shield plus a number of development clinics. For a largely individual based sport, this far exceeds regional opportunities provided in other sports of the same nature. For more information about club based meets - please consult your club.

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What are the different types of qualifying meets?

Qualifying meets consist of development meets, transition meets, preparation meets and Championship meets. The structure of these meets varies slightly throughout different regions, however, the premise of each is the same. For more information on each of these meets please read our Swim Meet Explanation document.

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How are entry fees determined?

  • Entry fees to swim meets are determined by the host club of each swim meet depending on their respective costs associated with conducting the meet, that is why there are small differences.

  • Entry fees are necessary to cover the cost of many things associated with a swim meet, including facility / pool hire fees (including payments for lifeguards), equipment hire (including touchpads, timing system, tents, additional warm-up facilities for swimmers, room hire for the control room and meet preparation room etc.), a small contribution for the technical officials, medals for the swimmers, catering for the officials and volunteers and occasionally, specialty people to run and manage the timing system, amongst other things.

  • Our costs have increased dramatically over the recent period due to the increased cost of facility hire, which, until recently had been mostly free. 

  • On a comparative level, our fees are on par with or lower than other regional associations and significantly cheaper than entry fees for Brisbane based meets. 

Any surplus funds from meets, are re-invested back into the organisation.

For SGC, these additional funds pay for all of our development clinics and representative opportunities (Patron Shield etc.), which are offered to our members (swimmers and coaches) for free, all of our awards and payments at our presentation day, our cashback provisions to the clubs (which totaled nearly $10,000 for the 2021-22 season), administration costs associated with running an organisation with over 2,500 members etc. Over the past 10 years SGC, has operated with no significant change to our financial reserves, indicating the full utilisation of funds available for the development of our swimmers, coaches and officials and that continues to be the plan moving forward.

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Once entered into a meet, how are the details communicated?

After the closing of the nomination period for each swim meet (usually the weekend before the meet - but check each invite to be certain), you should generally expect to see an entry list by Tuesday evening to check over and ensure your entries are as planned. If there are any discrepancies, contact the host club ASAP to rectify, as once the program has been produced, changes can no longer be made unless it's with the approval of the Referee on the day of the meet. By Thursday evening, the meet program (including heat and lane allocations, a timeline and all relevant meet details) should be emailed, as well as published on the SGC website and within the SGC Team App.

For any late news regarding changes due to dangerous weather, or changes in government regulations, keep an eye out on our socials, as well as Team App for any notifications. Clubs and coaches will also receive all of this information as outlined above. It is imperative that you maintain the accurateness of your Swim Central profile, so the information goes to the correct place.

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Development

 

How is SGC involved in swimmer development?

SGC provides numerous development opportunities throughout the season; from development clinics for the swimmers, representative opportunities for swimmers, coaches and technical officials as well as personal development conferences for our coaches etc. These opportunities are provided free of charge by SGC, last year costing the region in excess of $46,000. This year we are adding in some exciting new opportunities, that will be self-funded, but will provide different, fun and innovative experiences for our stakeholders. For more information visit our information on upcoming development events.

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How do I get my swimmer involved?

The easiest way to get your swimmer involved is to take note of the development events in our development section, follow Swimming Gold Coast on Facebook, Instagram and Team App and ensure your details in Swim Central are correct. If you do these, you can't miss them!! 

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Technical Officials

 

What is a technical official?

Technical officials are those dedicated volunteers that preside over swim meets to ensure swimmers are adhering to the rules of swimming and that the meet is conducted in a fair and safe manner for all. As with all sporting officials, there can be some disagreement regarding the decisions made by officials. However, the rules of swimming are very clear and it is the job of the official to uphold them. On a positive note, swimmers are able to learn from mistakes or technical issues at a local level prior to progressing along the performance pathway and being disqualified at a national, or international level meet. Officials are also there to provide swimmers every opportunity to swim their best and swimmers are always given the benefit of the doubt where even the slightest indecision arises. Swimmers disqualify themselves, officials just report the infraction. SGC, in accordance with our code of conduct have a zero tolerance policy regarding official abuse - any person found to be mistreating an official will be withdrawn from the meet and asked to leave the facility, so please lets all do the right thing.

Visit our technical officials page for more information.

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What are the requirements of a technical official?

Technical officials are required to learn the rules of swimming, however, there are no set requirements in terms of how many days you need to officiate, when you need to learn all the rules by, or how long you need to be on pool deck for, to officiate at a local level on the Gold Coast. We here at SGC are extremely blessed to have some of the world's best officials on hand to help you navigate through your first few experiences and provide mentorship throughout your entire journey. The misconception that there is a large time commitment, or you need to know everything before you start is just that, a misconception. Find out more here and give it a try, we need to have more volunteers within our officiating team. It really is the best position to watch the swimming from.

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How do I get involved?

If you decide you may like to 'test the waters' and try being a technical official, the first step is to visit our page on technical officials to familiarise yourself with all of the potential opportunities that come from being an official, then contact our chief referee - chiefreferee@swimminggoldcoast.org.au.

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Awards

 

What awards do you offer swimmers?

At our annual awards presentation day, we recognise the swimmers on the Gold Coast that have had a stellar year, achieving great results and supporting the SGC Community. The awards on offer through Swimming Gold Coast can be found on our Awards Page.

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How are award recipients determined?

Each year the Swimming Gold Coast executive committee reviews the previous awards criteria and determines whether it is fit for purpose. Adjustments are made to reflect changes within the swimming community, as seen by the executive committee of the day. It is important to remember that not all awards go to the swimmer that some people deem to be the 'best swimmer', as the majority of awards are determined on a points scoring basis.

The criteria for each award can be found on our Awards criteria page.

As a general rule, in order to attempt to reward those swimmers that have excelled, SGC recently included points achieved at Age Nationals and as such moved the date of age determination to the first day of the Australian Age Championships, for those ages that are eligible to compete at this event. For all ages not eligible, then the date of age determination is the first day of the SGC Championship. Understandably, this is not a perfect system and swimmers may change age groups midway through, or even right up to the day before, however, the belief of the current executive committee is that the swimming season, for those eligible, finishes at Australian Age and as such that is the date we have decided to utilise. 

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