Types of Events/Competitions

Club Championships

These are in house competitions run under full ASA rules and include a whole spectrum of events from 8 years and above. It’s a great time to gain experience, race your peers and win some medals. From the club championship we also give out awards for Top boy – Top Girl. There is a presentation evening held to celebrate results and additional yearly prized will be give out including.

  • Most improved Foundation swimmer
  • Coaches award
  • Most improved


  • Elaine Bowler Memorial Gala:This is arguably one of the most important events of the year for us as a whole club. This is a gala against other local teams to celebrate the life of Elaine Bowler (Mr Bowlers daughter) Elaine died in the most horrific circumstances and at this gala we all swim in honour of Elaine and Mr Bowler. Mr Bowler means a lot to this swimming club and as such, we continue to run the gala in memory for Elaine. We ask you with the heaviest hearts to please attend as it’s the one time we let past member’s race if they want too. Please keep the first Saturday in July free. This really is more than just a gala. We are a team and we will stand as a team at this gala and enjoy the spirit and love of the sport and club.
  • League Gala’s: competitions where we race other local clubs and generally gain points over a series of competitions. Swimmers are selected for league galas, and these selections will be made for several different reasons – such as personal best times, cut off times; some events have times swimmers have to swim below to keep the gala for novices, it creates an encouraging environment for the less experienced swimmers, swimmers can also be selected on commitment to the club, hard work and many other reasons. However if your names on the list it’s an honour and we want to see you there. We attend the following:
    • Notts and Derby Junior League – is for Foundation 2 to Club 1 swimmers, it’s a friendly league that consists of 25m relays, 50m individual races and a cannon. Three competitions make up the whole league and are generally between April and June results and details about the league can be found here.
    • Derwent League – is the more competitive league and includes a range of age groups from 10 – open. The galas consist of relays, 50m and 100m events plus a cannon. There are four galas which make up the league from January to March, the final gala is different with mixed team relays and mixed age groups swimming together. It’s always an action packed evening with loud music, cheering and some high end swimming. These events are generally held at Alferton Leisure Centre so very local to us. Swimmers for all groups from Dev 3 to Masters are needed within this league.

Open Meets

Open meets are galas spread over a day or weekend; swimmers take sole control over the event they want to do, the swimmers complete entry forms on the races they want to swim in and submit their personal best times.  As a rough guide Matlock attend between 6 – 8 open meets. This does not include the Derbyshire Championships, and sprint championship, Midlands or Nationals. Therefore on a very approximate level we do 12-14 open meets per year. Open meets are given a level or grade depending on the standard of the competition. To gain Midland and National times the swimmer must gain qualifications times in Level 2 open meets or above. Open meets are a brilliant way of gaining  wide race experience and get involved in longer distance races, which are not found in league galas. Open meets are generally open to swimmers or 9 years old, conditions and ages do vary.

Grading of Open Meets
  • Level 3 or C,B grade open meets – friendly beginner events. They have target times to be under so if you have too fast a personal best time you can’t enter the race. This gives swimmer more opportunities to gain top position, gain medals, build confidence and experience racing. If a swimmer swims too fast in a gala, they may give out speeding tickets, this shows there have swam above the standard of the gala. Speeding tickets are good and even sometimes better than medals. Level 3 open meets are where all Development 1-Junior should start.
  • Level 2,1 / A grade open meets – high standard of racing, follows all Fina rules and regulations any qualification times gained in these galas will allow swimmers to race in the Derbyshire Championship, Midlands and Nationals. Swimmers from Dev 2 to Club 3 should be considering these open meets.

As a general rule of thumb we only like swimmers to attend the targeted open meets, otherwise it’s very easy to OVER RACE. However if swimmers are aiming to achieve something specific or need times for a specific race we will fully support and advise what competitions to enter. Over racing at a young age can make the pathway into competitive swimming harder. Swimmers will have peaks and troughs in performance. If swimmers feel they do want to do more events than we offer, we will respect that decision as it is a personal choice, but please communicate what races you plan to do and what results you get. If there is a goal or something you really want to achieve again share it with us and we will support you in the best way we can. Please be aware if you go to an untargeted open meet parents shouldn’t be on poolside with you unless you have bought a coaches pass – some event may insist of DBS checks and ASA members again these vary from open meet to open meet.

  • Matlock Open Meet: a level 3 accredited competition, held yearly in September. Please can swimmer and parent help support this event? If any parents wish to help with the running for the day, from manning the spectator’s gallery, to making drinks, to timekeeping etc please let us know. Also if anyone has any raffle prizes or wishes to sponsor an event please let coaches and committee members know. Ideally we would like to have more 40 swimmers at the Matlock open meet ranging from Dev 1 – Club 3.
  • Masters Open Meets; run in the same way as any other but are only open to over 18 year olds. Masters events are very friendly and supportive, swimmers wishing to attend Midland and National Masters event, must gain qualification times in smaller events first.


  • Derbyshire County/Sprint Championships; These are very similar to Open meets but swimmers only compete against swimmers who live in the Derbyshire Region, there are standard qualification times and you must reach the times to be allowed to swim. Swimmers from Dev 2 to Masters can enter these events. Swimming races from 50m to 1500m, in February over 3 weekends generally at the Arc Matlock. Again swimmers are responsible for their own entry forms and race selection. Derbyshire Sprints are held at Sheffield in a 50m pool, its short sharp events and always makes good spectating.
  • Midland & National Championships; Swimmers race against all swimmers in the Midlands and qualification times are of a high standard. The competition is split into age groups and youth events. Swimmers who gain Midland qualification times will be put on a specific training programme. The same if we have any National qualifiers.
  • Midlands Open Water Championship;Open water swimmers and multisport athletes will get the option to enter in July, and from this may be selection for National level open water events. Open water carries it very own specific rules, but we strongly support swimmers doing open water. Swimmers need to be over 11 years old and parent consent is necessary at all events.