Here are a few tips, tricks and FAQ’s that those new to swim meets might have. We are also trying to build a “Swim Meet 101” Section on our site with more information.
- Almost all our meets are held at the Pan Am Pool in Winnipeg.
- The Pan Am has 2 pools… The “Main Tank” and the “Training Tank”.
- Main Tank – the one with the diving boards, and the bleacher seating.
- Training Tank – all the way at the back of the building.
- Swimmers: When you arrive – swimmers pass the main desk and enter the pool through the change rooms. You do NOT need to pay to enter.
- Exit through the far end of the change rooms onto the pool deck.
- Our team always has a “base” on the pool deck were our entire team sits together and can leave all their towels, backpacks, etc…
- Make sure to take everything with you out of the change room, but if you prefer, there are lockers for jackets etc.
- Parents: You enter by taking the stairs just past the main desk to the 2nd level. The Skimmers parents tend to sit together – but it’s not “the law”… We will only cry a little if you choose to shun us. The first parents that arrive generally “stake out” a section and we all gravitate to it.
- In the Main Tank – there is bleacher seating.
- In the Training Tank – there is crumby seating so be prepared to stand or sit on the floor.
- The Building Is Hot! Dress for it. Lot’s of parents leave winter coats in the car and change into shorts & T-Shirts. The building is super warm and standing in that heat all afternoon can be tough on us.
Tips, Tricks and FAQ’s:
- Parents are not allowed down on deck. Swimmers can come up whenever they would like.
- Programs are important. They generally sell programs for $2 – $10 dollars depending on the meet. It outlines all the events and which heat your swimmer is in. It’s a long day – with more waiting than swimming – and the heats happen quickly so having a program helps make sure you know when your swimmer is in the water.
- In the training tank – spectators crowd the railing to watch. It is COMPLETELY normal and acceptable for parents to excuse themselves and ask if they can move to the railing a heat or 2 before their swimmer is up. All the parents do it – and all are really good about letting you watch and cheer for your swimmer.
- Parking is crazy at the Pan Am. Never enough space so expect to park out past the Pan Am Clinic and walk a fair ways. You can always drop your swimmer off at the door if you would like and then hunt for a spot.
- There is no coffee shop/food/etc. available for parents at the Pan Am Pool. You can gladly bring your own food, or there is a Subway, McDonalds, Starbucks all close by – but not quite walking distance. Some of the host clubs will have a canteen available.
- There is lots of “waiting time”, so bring a book, iPad, Computer (the pool does have WiFi), etc… If you are bringing younger siblings – they won’t be the only ones there. Activities for them help the time pass.
- You don’t have to stay at the pool the entire time. Our coaches are responsible for your swimmers during the meet. If you do leave to run some errands between events, just be aware that the estimated start times of events changes depending on how the meet progresses. If you do leave, make sure another parent has your contact info in the event we need to get a hold of you.
- Swimming Matters is a local swim store in Wpg. They often set up at meets with suits, goggles and accessories available for your swimmer.
- While we encourage the team to support each other and be there to cheer other team members on, we understand that sometimes swimmers need to leave after their last event. A common “meeting place” for parents and swimmers is the lobby. It’s small and easy to find each other.
Preparing your Swimmer:
- They should bring all their belongings onto deck with them. Not a bad idea to leave winter coats in the vehicle or leave them with parents to sit on.
- Between events, there is lots of sitting. Extra towels to sit on and dry off with are a good idea. So is a warm-up or track suit and/or sweat-shirt.
- Swimmers can come upstairs to find their parents at any time – but should check with the coach first so they don’t miss the marshalling for their event.
- The team has more fun on deck without parents than you know! Many of them bring games, books and other things to do… and some of them actually use those items. Overall – they tend to find lots of fun ways to entertain themselves.
- Electronics on deck: We appreciate how valuable they are for communicating and capturing pictures. We also want the team to stay engaged and ask that electronic use be limited on deck.
- When another club member(s) is swimming, the others are encouraged to watch and cheer for the Skimmers.
- Eating is important. Food and drinks are allowed on deck at meets. Swimming burns a tonne of energy, and having lots of good, healthy snacks available for the kids is important. So is having lots of water to drink.
- Swim bag big enough to hold everything they need for the day (including their street clothes).
- Skimmers T-Shirt, Swim suit, goggles and Skimmers swim cap. (Spare goggles are a good idea)
- Two Towels.
- “Warm up clothes” – like sweat-shirt or track suit – for between events.
- Water and healthy snacks.
- Flip Flops / Sandals. Makes walking on deck or coming up to visit parents easier on the feet.
New to Swim Meets