Club Info

All this information is intended to answer the frequent questions that arise among new and established members.


The committee runs the club and ensures we meet our legal requirements. This means we’re financially sustainable, democratic and accountable in our workings, and set up to meet the needs of the swimmers who train with us. The Welfare Officer is responsible for the welfare of club members and should be contacted if you have any club-related concerns. You can also speak to the club captains, coaches or other members of the committee.

The current committee can be found on the Committee section.

Swimming times

Current swimming times can be found in the Sessions section.

During holiday periods sessions may be cancelled or timings changed. Members will be informed by e-mail and reminders posted on the Club Website. It is important that Club members provide an up to date email address to ensure they receive the latest news and information from the Club. The Secretary should be advised of any change in email address asap.

With the exception of Stroke Technique sessions, the first 15-20 minutes of each session will be a warm-up. This is an important element of the session. Main sets will begin after this


A number of swimmers have trained as lifeguards. The poolside coach will watch for swimmers in trouble and we have an established emergency procedure.

EMERGENCY SIGNAL: Should you hear 1 LONG AND 3 SHORT BLASTS on the whistle you must cease swimming immediately and get out of the pool as quickly as possible. You will then receive instructions from your Coach or Lifeguard.

All swimmers are expected to follow safety procedures and to watch for fellow swimmers in the same and adjacent lanes. PLEASE DON’T STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LANE! If your goggles leak or you have some other problem, pull over to the side of the lane or get to the end of the pool before standing – collisions have occurred!

Copies of Insurance documents and the Club’s Constitution are available from the Secretary on request.

There are a few guidelines that help make the club more pleasant. Coaches give up a great deal of time each week to prepare and run sessions. Other swimmers have goals and objectives they are trying to meet.

So please:

  • Be on time and properly equipped, including bringing any session payment required.
  • Tell your coach of any injury or other factor that may affect your swimming or safety
  • Listen carefully as coaches explain to you the swim sets; it impacts on both coaches and other swimmers if there is conversation while they are trying to do this.
  • Swim the set you have been given. If there is a reason why you feel you may need to vary it – for example if you have an injury – discuss it with the poolside coach
  • Observe lane etiquette (see below)
  • Be respectful of coaches, other swimmers and other facility users
  • Inform your coach if you need to leave the session early for any reason
  • Help with the tidying, getting out and putting away of equipment such as lane-ropes or floats
  • Follow the rules and procedures specific to the different training facilities
  • Familiarise yourself with, and pay attention to, club safety procedures (see Safety above)
  • Wear the appropriate club polo shirt when representing the club in competitions (provided free for these swimmers)

Lane etiquette

Different swimmers swim at different speeds. The session coach will advise you as to which lane to swim in if you are unsure. Lane etiquette is both for safety and to ensure all swimmers get the most from their session. A simple lane etiquette is as follows:

  • Give way to faster swimmers
  • The faster swimmer should tap the heels of the swimmer ahead to alert them to his or her presence.
  • Don’t stop in the lane! (See safety)
  • When giving way, swim to the end of the pool and wait until the faster swimmer has passed. If you become aware of a faster swimmer gaining on you, swim to the turn and wait.
  • Different lanes will swim in different directions. Make sure you check whether your lane is turning clockwise or anti-clockwise.
  • Keep turns clear when resting or waiting at the end of the pool
  • At the start of a swim, leave a 5-second interval between yourself and the swimmer ahead of you.
  • Please stay in the lane you’ve been put in; if you need or want to move to a faster or slower lane for any reason, talk to the poolside coach first.

Be aware that sometimes swimmers may be asked to change lanes to fit everyone in. It can be a good challenge to try to chase faster swimmers or even leading a slower lane – remember, if you’re not drafting a swimmer ahead it’s harder work!


You need a costume, goggles and a towel. A plastic sports drink bottle with water is useful. (There’s no need to worry about isotonic sports drinks.) Sometimes there will be sets needing pull-floats, kick floats, paddles or fins. Floats can usually be borrowed from the poolside and paddles or fins are always optional save for more advanced drills. You’ll know when you need them.


Swimmers are encouraged to enter competitions. Not everyone feels confident about competing, but Masters meets are very friendly and organised into heats of swimmers of similar speeds. Places are decided by sorting out the times of swimmers in different age-groups when all the heats in an event have been completed. Representing the club is more fun than you might imagine and gets you a free, official club polo shirt and hat. If you are interested in competing and have any queries please talk to the Chief Coach or Club Captains.

The competition calendar for the current year is located on the Club web-site, as well as a report for most events entered by Stroud Masters.


These are some of the more common terms and acronyms used by coaches when writing sets on the whiteboard:

  • FC/FS ; Front Crawl/Freestyle
  • BK/BC ; Backstroke/back crawl
  • Fly ; Butterfly
  • BS/Brst ; Breaststroke
  • Pull ; Swimming using only arms, legs often maintained level with the use of a float held between the thighs, knees or ankles.
  • Kick ; swimming using only leg-kick
  • s/a single-arm ; using only one arm to swim, usually swapping arms each length
  • basa breathe away ; single arm (swimming with a single arm, breathing away from the pulling arm)
  • Medley/IM Individual Medley ; a swim consisting of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and front crawl in that order
  • Reverse-order ; a medley swum in reverse order
  • Bk/bk back-to-back ; a series of medleys swum with alternate medleys reversed, eg (front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, fly), (fly, backstroke, breaststroke, front crawl)
  • Progressive ; a series of swims progressing through the different strokes in the order of a medley.
  • s/c stroke count ;  the number of strokes taken to complete a length
  • red s/c ; a swim aiming to reduce the number of strokes taken for each length
  • hold s/c ; maintaining the same number of strokes per length over a swim or a part of a swim
  • bilat breathing ; alternately to either side on front crawl, ie (usually) breathing every 3 strokes.
  • RI rest interval ; the amount of rest between swims
  • @ ; indicates the total time for an interval, eg 10x50m @ 60secs means 10 swims of 50 metres, starting every minute. The interval therefore includes both the swim and the rest period between swims.
  • Catch-up ; swimming a modified front crawl so that the recovered arm is held in the glide position until the other, recovering arm ‘catches up’ with it.
  • 1-count ; swimming a modified front crawl so that the extended, recovered arm is held for an extra count of 1 before beginning its pull
  • TT Target Time ;  Usually used in conjunction with intervals so that 10x50m @ 60secs, TT=35, would mean that swimmers should aim to complete each 50m swim in 35 seconds
  • o/c ; own choice of stroke or drills
  • drill ; part of, or a modification of, a stroke; swum to focus on a particular aspect of that stroke. Kick, pull, catch-up and 1-count are all examples of drills
  • swordfish/ sfish kicking ; lying ¾ on the side with one arm extended ahead and the other lying along the flank. FC swordfish entails turning the head to face the bottom of the pool, rolling to breathe; BC swordfish entails looking at the ceiling while swimming.
  • 2k/1p ; a drill involving a cycle of two kicks to one pull