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A list of future galas will be displayed on the notice board and on the RADS website.

Graded  Galas

We hold Graded Galas, where all swimmers are eligible to compete. These are homebased galas, where swimmers set an individual standard and subsequently receive Merit Awards if they better their standard by two seconds at the next Graded Gala. As the swimmer achieves set targets, the distance over which they race will increase – up to 100m for each stroke and 200m for Medley.

These races are against the clock and every swimmer is a winner.

Graded Galas also help the coaching staff with team selection for league events and

team galas, where our head coach, Doug Drake, selects the team to represent the club.

Team and League galas

The club takes part in a number of team and League galas. Swimmers from the age of 9 upwards can be selected to represent the club. Check for team lists to see if you have been selected. It is an honour to represent your club, so please make every effort to make yourself available if you have been selected. There is no entry fee for swimming in team or league galas, although spectators will be expected to pay an entrance fee.

From time to time RADS is expected to ‘host’ team or league galas. At this time we will request the assistance of parents to help with various hosting duties.

Essex League

This league is an annual competition for Essex-based swimming clubs which runs over four separate galas usually running between September and April.

Essex Mini League

The Essex Mini League provides a framework for competition between amateur swimming clubs within the county of Essex. The league currently has 14 member clubs arranged in a single division. Each club swims in five galas each season, arranging and hosting one of them. Galas are swum on the second Saturday of each month from February to October (excluding August). The mini league is aimed at swimmers who have not achieved county qualifying times and operates on a series of time limits i.e. swimmers must swim slower than the time limits or are issued with time faults.

The National Arena Swimming League – London

This is a prestigious national competition which is run in regional qualifying groups.  RADS swim in the London region which currently operates 3 highly competitive divisions. Teams winning Division 1 have the opportunity to swim in the National finals in Ponds Forge.

The National Arena Junior M11 Swimming League

As with the Senior National Arena Swimming League this is a high profile competition. The league is aimed at swimmers between the ages of 9 and 12 inclusive.

Open Galas

Also on the notice board will be information about open galas held by other clubs. Swimmers must be age 9 years and over and must also be registered as an ASA Category 2 member to enter Open Galas. The notice board will indicate which level of swimmers are best suited to enter these events. An open gala entry form needs to be completed and handed at the RADS desk before the event closing date. Any entry fees should be handed in with your entry form.

Open gala competitions are often run in different ways. The most common formats are heats/finals and HDW (Heat Declared Winner). In heats/finals, normally the six fastest swimmers from an event are placed in a final to determine medal positions. In HDW events, there is no final and the winners are those that have swum the fastest times.


Essex County Championships and East Region Championships can be entered if you have met the required qualifying time for the events. Qualifying times must be achieved at Level 1, 2 or 3 ASA licensed competitions.

National Championships are the hardest to qualify for Qualifying times must be achieved at Level 1 or 2 ASA licensed competitions.