2018 Season "It's not how much you gave. It's how much you gave after you gave it your all."
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Common QuestionsShow Answer

  1. How well do you have to be able to swim to join the Aquarians?

    Swimmers who are able to swim one length (25 metres) of the pool unassisted are ready to join PMA. We coach swimmers proper technique and give them opportunities to compete.

    If your child is not able to swim 25 metres of the pool unassisted, they are encouraged to take community swim lessons and pass Red Cross Swim Kids level 4. Swimmers will be assessed at the time of registration to determine what group they should be registered in.

  2. Where and when will practices be?

    We practice at Westhill Pool, near Glenayre and College Park, starting in May. In late-June the City of Port Moody opens Rocky Point Pool and we then swim at both pools.

    Schedules and Group Placements are available mid to late April. These are the time windows (Monday to Friday) when we usually have our pool time through the season. Each practice is for 45-90 minutes in the pool, with some additional time before/after for warm up/stretch.

      Morning Afternoon Evening
    May to mid-June 6:00-7:15 AM 4:00-8:00 PM  
    mid-June to end-June 6:00-7:15 AM 5:00-6:00 PM 8:00-9:00 PM
    July to mid-Aug 7:00-8:30 AM 5:00-6:00 PM 8:00-9:00 PM

    Exact times and pool depends on group placement and pool availability. Each swim group will have 3 - 5 afternoon practices plus additional morning/evening practices.

    These are the number of practices each group usually has per week - varies from the start to end of season. Swimmers are not required to attend every practice.

       DEVELOPMENT: 4-5 /wk   JUNIOR: 5-6 /wk   INT/SENIOR: 5-7 /wk

  3. Which group will my child be in?

    Coaches set Group Placements in mid to late April. Swimming skill is the primary consideration, but age and fitness level is also considered. If your child has past swimming experience, it is helpful to include this on your registration form. Coaches may request some swimmers attend an evaluation at the start of the season.

    • Mini-Aquarians
      This group consists of swimmers 5 & 6 years in age who are not yet able to swim a length of the pool. This program is geared towards younger siblings in the club and has a maximum capacity. Swimmers will be assessed at the time of registration to determine what group they should be registered in. Coaches will also assess swimmers during the first two weeks of the swim club season and make changes to the group placements if necessary.
    • Development
      Swimmers in the development group have minimal or no competitive skills or experience but are able to swim a length of the pool unaided. Emphasis in the development group is on stroke development but swimmers also learn about the fundamentals of competitive swimming, develop their flexibility, participate in Development swim meets, and learn about being part of a team.
    • Junior (White)
      This group is designed for swimmers with some competitive swimming skills or older swimmers new to competitive swimming. Emphasis is on stroke and skill development. These swimmers generally compete in the A/B meets.
    • Intermediate (Red) / Senior (Black)
      The swimmers in these groups have more competitive swimming skills and experience. The emphasis shifts more towards training and stroke correction. Some older swimmers with less competitive swimming experience may also be placed in this group.

    These group placements may change during the season when coaches feel a swimmer would be better suited to a different group.

  4. What do I need to bring to practice?

    All practices run rain or shine so bring clothing appropriate for the weather.

    • Swimsuit
    • Towel
    • Goggles
    • Swim Cap - for long hair
    • Water bottle
    • Runners
    • Athletic clothing for warm up
    • Padlock - if you have valuables to lock up

    The public has access to the facilities during practice, so do not leave valuables in the change rooms. Small lockers are available.

  5. Does my son need to wear a Speedo?

    If your child feels uncomfortable wearing a Speedo, they may wear jammers or swim briefs. Please do not send your child in swim trunks, they will drag in the water causing your child to tire quickly, they also cause chaffing. Don’t worry, if all the kids are wearing them nobody will notice if you are.

  6. What is the 2-hour rule?

    Originally when BCSSA was formed, almost all summer swim club members practiced in outdoor pools and could only swim from May to August (due to weather); and DID NOT swim during the winter months. Now, with the availability of indoor pools, many summer swim clubs can and do swim throughout the winter months. In order to maintain a level of fairness in competition to those swimmers who DO NOT have access to swimming in the winter, 2 categories were created: Summer (S) and Open Category (O Cat).

    To remain in the S category, a swimmer can not participate in coached swimming for more than 2 hours per week from October 1st to April 30th. There are some exemptions to this rule, such as school swim teams and Red Cross swim lessons. More details can be found in BCSSA S&O Declaration Form.

  7. What is Hell Week?

    It is one of the hardest but also most fun weeks for your swimmer all summer. Explained best in the document, What is Hell Week?.

  8. How can I get team gear?

    Team Suits
    Team suits are bulk ordered at the start of April and again during the first week in May. Exact dates, times and locations for suit sizings and order deadlines can be found on the website's Registration page. It is highly recommended swimmers try on the suit before placing the order as sizes vary between different styles and manufacturers. Exchanges for incorrect sizes may not be possible. Payment for team suits is on delivery.

    Team Caps
    Team Caps are available any time during the season and can also be ordered along with your team suit. The Head Coach and several executive members will have caps with them during practices and swim meets.

    Team Clothing / Personalized Caps
    Team Clothing and personalized caps are placed as a group order once or twice during the season. Order forms and instructions will be distributed a few weeks before an order is planned.

  9. When are team suits delivered?

    Team Suits are delivered twice per season and will arrive 6-8 weeks after the order deadline.

  10. Do I have to buy a team suit?

    For some swimmers, having a team suit is more important than others. The main reason we have team suits and caps is so we look like a team at competitions. Not just the good looking relay teams, but each of our swimmers will be known as an Aquarian. It also helps the coaches see our swimmers up on the starting blocks.

    If your child plans to attend competitions, both a team suit and cap is customary, and expected, just like in any other organized team sport, and they should not be used at practices. Properly fitted racing suits are tight. Having another, looser suit for practice will be more comfortable, and makes sure the team suit is in the best shape possible for races - and the cap in one piece.

    The team suits offered are good quality at a discounted price due to a bulk purchase. Even if you do not plan to go to competitions, these suits last a lot longer than cheaper suits which get saggy when used so much in the chlorine pools.

    If a team suit is not possible for your child, then there are acceptable alternatives, which should be made note of by the Coach prior to the competition. These are some guidelines:

    • All swimmers must wear a team cap in races
    • All suits used in races must be in our team colors: Black/Red/White
    • Boys do not wear swim trunks - at practice or at swim meets
      They will drag in the water causing your child to tire quickly
    • Girls do not wear 2 piece suits - at swim meets
      Training bikinis are allowed at practice with Coaches approval
  1. What are swim meets?

    Swim Meets are the backbone of any summer swimming season. They are a chance for swimmers of virtually all abilities to display the skills and strokes they refine all season in practices. They are a fun and relatively relaxed opportunity to compete against other children of the same age and abilities.

    There are a number of different swim meets and swim meet formats that different clubs across BC feature throughout the Summer Swimming Season.

    • A/B Swim Meet – This is the most common form of swim meet in Summer Swimming. The Port Moody Aquarians will attend A/B swim meets in Coquitlam, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, several out of regions meets, as well as hosting our own A/B Meet. These meets take place on Saturday and Sunday and they run from early morning to mid/late afternoon. Swimmers at these meets range from 5 to about 20 years old and are separated into Divisions by age (Division 1 = youngest to Division 8 = oldest).

      Swimmers of many different ability levels are encouraged to participate in these meets, including new swimmers. However, the ability to swim at least 2 lengths of at least 2 of the strokes is often a good guideline for those who are interested in competing.
    • Development Meet – Development Meets are geared towards the new and younger swimmers. There are a few of these meets throughout the season. The Aquarians will be attending development meets for clubs within our region. These meets are often held during the evening on a Friday or Wednesday night. They are open to those swimmers who do not yet have the ability to swim 2 lengths of the pool, those who are new to competing and those who do not have the skills in all the strokes. Events include 25-Meter Races of all 4 strokes, as well as the option of doing 50-Meter races of their better strokes.
    • Regional Championships – Every year, towards the end of the swimming season. The 5 clubs of our region (PMA, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Burnaby and Burnaby Mountain) compete in the Regional Championships. This serves as the qualifying meet for the Provincial Championships, as well as the final meet of the season for those that do not qualify for Provincials. This meet is run as an A/B Meet, meaning that there are no 25-Meter events. The top three swimmers in each individual event, and top two teams in relay events qualify for the Provincial championships in late August.

      Swimmers must have legally completed a race (no DQ) in at least one stroke during the season are able to attend this meet. At the coaches discretion, swimmers who have only competed in a 25m event may be entered in a 50m event at Regionals.

      Development swimmers are eligible to attend this meet. It is not uncommon for PMA to have a Div 1 relay team which includes Development swimmers qualify for Provincials, so we try to get any who have improved enough during the season to attend this meet.
    • Provincial Championships – At the very end of the season there is the Provincial Championships meet. This meet features Summer Swimmers from around the Province who have qualified for the meet within their individual regions. This meet is 3 days instead of the usual two, to account for the larger amount of swimmers. It is held at different venues through BC every year.
  2. What are the Time Trials?

    At the beginning of the season, we run a mini-swim meet for only our club.


    • Establish a beginning of the season time for swimmers so that they can see how much they’ve improved over the summer
    • Introduce swim meets to new swimmers so that they know what to expect at the meets which run through the summer
    • Give parents a taste of the different jobs that are required to run a swim meet in an informal way, so that they are more comfortable signing up for duties through the season
    • Give all the kids a chance to swim some races in a fun, noncompetitive format

    What to bring...

    • Team or Black bathing suit. Some swimmers like to bring multiple suits and get changed into a dry suit between races, but time trials is a very quick meet, since only our team is there. Kids are usually in the water about every 20 minutes, so there isn’t really a need to change into a dry suit
    • Lots of towels. Try to bring at least 4, so that swimmers have a dry towel after each race
    • Goggles and swim cap
    • Flip flops and warm clothes to pull on between races. Lots of kids pull on a t-shirt and then fleece sweatshirt and bottoms between races. Even if it's warm out that night, a t-shirt is a good idea to reduce the risk of sunburn
    • Snacks

    What to expect...

    • Swimmers will be grouped together by age and ability level. The events will be listed on the wall by the showers
    • One at a time, each event will be announced over the loud speakers and swimmers will be asked to go to the "Clerk of the Course". This is the area where they will be asked to sit on some benches with the other swimmers that they will be racing with
    • The Marshall and Clerk will organize the kids and check to make sure that they have goggles
    • When it is their turn to race, swimmers will go to the timers for the lane that they have been assigned. The timer will double check that their name is correct, help them put their towels in the basket behind the chairs and help them get in position to start
    • Some new swimmers will be swimming one length of the pool, so they will then walk around to the change room side of the pool and get ready
    • The starter will tell them to “take their marks” and fire the electronic starter which will beep
    • After their race, the swimmers must go and see their coaches for a quick debrief and then you can shower them with praise over their outstanding efforts!
  3. How do I sign up for Swim Meets?

    Meet sign up starts from the Meets & Results Page where information is available about each meet. There is a link to the Meet Entry page for each meet which is open.

    Detailed instructions can be found in this document: How To Sign Up for Meets

  4. My child doesn't swim very well. Why would they want to compete?

    Swim meets are fun, great exercise, and help build confidence! The swimmers get to race, cheer their teammates on, and play games in between events. Children are grouped with other swimmers who are of similar ability, which allows for a positive swim experience. Competitions allow swimmers to achieve their personal bests and measure how much they have improved. We encourage swimmers to compare to their last best time rather than to other swimmers.

  5. Do I have to attend both days of a swim meet?

    It is highly encouraged for swimmers to attend both days of a swim meet. Even though they compete individually, it is at the swim meets where we come together as a Team - hanging out playing games between races and cheering each other on. The coaches also want to ensure swimmers have the opportunity to race each of the strokes throughout the season - which is more difficult to do when only attending one day. If you have conflicts which prevent you from attending both days or a full day, discuss with your coach about attending only one day or other options that may be available.

  6. What strokes do swimmers compete in?

    Front crawl (freestyle), backstroke, breast stroke, butterfly, and individual medley (all 4 strokes). There are also team relays for freestyle and medley.

  7. What do I need to bring to a swim meet?

    Keep in mind that swim meets run rain or shine so be prepared.

    • Swimsuit
    • Towels
    • Goggles (at least 2 in case one breaks)
    • PMA swim cap
    • Flip flops or footwear that is easy to slip on/off
    • Water bottle
    • Food and snacks
    • Warm clothes
    • Long robe/parka/jacket
    • Money for the concession if needed
    • Money for a program if needed
    • Games (cards, books, etc.) to play while waiting for your events
    • Sunscreen and hat
    • Folding chairs
    • Coolers (if needed)
    • Blankets or Sleeping Bag (if needed)
    • Tarps (if raining)
    • We have large PMA tents but many families also bring along small pop-up tents.

    If you have a truck or large Crossover/SUV/Van, we are always in need of volunteers to bring the club tents to the meets.

  8. Are parents expected to volunteer?

    Yes. Swim meets are run by parents so each parent is expected to sign up for a volunteer shift at the swim meets your child is competing in. You are there anyway so you may as well help out. The volunteer shifts are usually short (2 hours or so). If you have further questions about this, please ask.

    At our home meet at the end of June/early July, the volunteer help needed is much greater than at any other meet all season. We will be asking all parents to come and help out - even if your child will not be competing. Shifts will be assigned if there are not enough people signing up ahead of time.

  9. Why go to swim meet warm ups?

    At every swim meet PMA is designated a lane or two at specific times to warm up in. The warm up times are usually between 6:15 and 7:30 am each morning of the meet. Each group of swimmers will be assigned a time to warm up and those times will be emailed to swimmers signed up for the meet.

    The most important reason to attend warm ups it that no two pools are set up the same way. They may seem to look alike, but there are many differences. The starting blocks will be different. Some will be higher than others, some will have less traction than others and some may not allow a swimmer to place their hands in the same position as other blocks. The walls of the pool will be different as well. A common complaint is "the walls are slippery". The clarity of the water also seems to change from pool to pool. Children often come out of the pool and claim that they couldn't see the walls very well. The backstroke flags at each pool have the potential to be different. The swimmers will not be aware of any of those things that have the potential to change their races dramatically if they do not get in their warm ups. Warm ups are used more for familiarizing yourself with the pool than actually preparing your muscles for the race.

    This is also when the coaches take a head count, start preparing for relays as well as have a few minutes to talk to each of them before the racing starts. They are also required to scratch no-shows during warm ups to make room for deck entries into those heats. We don't plan the warm up times to be so early to be mean. It is in the best interest of your swimmer(s) to make it to the warm ups at each meet. It will only help their swims.

  10. How do I Use Hy-Tek Team Stats Online? (BCSSA Hy-Tek Results)

    The BCSSA (BC Summer Swimming Association) offers access to Hy-Tek's Team Stats Online. Through this system you can access individual swimmers times for the season as well as provincial and regional rankings. Instructions for using the information you will find using this link are below: BCSSA Hy-Tek Results

    For individual swimmer times follow these steps:

    • Click on the ATHLETES box second from left
    • Choose the first letter of the last name.
    • Choose Female or Male check box
    • There may be more than one page of any letter and you may have to use the "Go to page" dropdown at the far right.
    • Click on the blue highlighted "Times" link on the left
    • From the "Course" drop down menu on the left just above all the even boxes choose SCM for Short Course (25) Metres
    • Choose an event and the times for this season will appear
    • You can choose to show 1,2,...5 fastest times for each event, or all times for the season

    For Provincial or Regional Rankings

    • Choose RANK box, third from left
    • From "Course" drop down menu choose SCM for Short Course (25) Metres
    • From "Division" drop down menu pick the Division
    • For Provincial Rankings do not choose anything in the "Region" drop down menu. For Regional Rankings choose Simon Fraser Region
    • Choose Female or Male check box
    • Choose the event and a the rankings will appear. You may have to scroll through pages using the "Go to page" drop down menu on the far right.
  11. What division do I swim in?

    The division you compete in is based on your age at the start of the season.
    You can look these up in the BCSSA Swimming Age Locator available from the BCSSA each year.

If you can swim a length of the pool then you're ready for summer swimming and all the experiences that come with it. Swimming isn't just a great physical activity, it's also full of social experiences, team building and the development of life skills. Each swimmer will practice with kids from the area and if they choose to try racing they will compete against, and in many cases, become lifelong friends with other kids from throughout the province.

Summer swimming fits perfectly into the lives of families with school aged kids because it runs from May until the middle of August. During those 4 months swimmers become team members and are assigned to a training group that is matched to their skill level. During the summer, swimmers and coaches in each group are together for games, social activities, dry land training sessions and of course swimming.

Each coaching team works in conjunction with a head coach and together they are responsible for the development of their individual swimmers in a multitude of areas including: stroke development and proficiency, cardio vascular fitness and muscle strength, listening and task completion along with all the other skills that come with becoming better at swimming and being a member of a team.

You'll hear swimmers talk about going to "workout" or "practice", but summer swimming is not all about work. Each practice session starts with a dry land warm-up session and ends with some on deck stretching and cool down. In between, swimmers are in the pool practicing their strokes, working on diving and starting, learning to do turns and perfecting being as streamlined and efficient in the water as possible. All of this is achieved through a planned set of exercises, drills, games and swimming but when you're with a group of kids, coaches, volunteers and parents it all equates to fun, new friends and lasting memories.

Swimmers will practice for 1 hour to 1.5 hrs at a time anywhere from a couple of times a week while school in in session, up to 5 or more times a week as age and skill level increases and school lets out for summer break. Practices are in the late afternoon or early evening with some morning practices all at the outdoor pools in the Port Moody area (Rocky Point and Westhill Pools are used). Along with practices there are swim meets or competitions. These too are skill and age specific and start with Development meets which are often on an afternoon or early evening for a few hours and progress to one day meets on the weekend then two days and up to the Procincial Finals in mid August that is spread over 3 or 4 days. It's key to remember that although this is a team, swimming is an individual sport so being at practice and swim meets can be flexible and work around family time and vacations.

Swimmers who start with summer swimming have the opportunity to become strong, safe and confident in the water. Summer swimmers have used their skills to go on and become surfers, lifeguards, water polo players, synchronized swimmers, tri athletes . . . the list goes on and on and if it involves water then summer swimming makes it more enjoyable and gives participants a skill that is usually far better developed than the other people participating. Either way summer swimming will increase confidence and success in life and in the water.

Many summer swimmers have also gone on to become more competitive and have received university scholarships, government funding and some have achieved national and international level standing and represented Canada in the pool or in their sport around the world.

No matter the level of interest in racing or competing now, summer swimming with the Port Moody Aquarians will provide a life time of fun, friends and practical skills all packed into time spent around the pool in our fabulous outdoor summer months.

Please see the attached links below for specifics on skills and examples of racing and some of the celebrities in the sport of swimming.

Swimming…The Fundamentals

Swimming is a highly technical sport that involves intensive training and meticulous attention to detail. However, the basics of swimming are quite simple.
To begin there are four different strokes:

  • Freestyle
    Freestyle is the most basic stroke in swimming and is often the first stroke learned by those beginning the sport. It involves alternating arm strokes, along with alternating, up-and-down kicks. For examples of freestyle use the links below:
    Swimming: Go Swim Freestyle with Kra Lynn Joyce
    Magnini and Hayden Tie in 100-meter Freestyle
    *There are a number of different Freestyle Races. In summer swimming we swim the 50-Meter Freestyle (2 Lengths) and the 100-Meter Freestyle (4 Lengths).
  • Backstroke
    Backstroke is the only swimming stroke done while lying on your back with your face out of the water. Like freestyle it involves alternating arm strokes and alternating, up-and-down kicks. However, the difference is that in Backstroke…you are on your Back. Here are some useful backstroke clips:
    Ryan Lochte: Backstroke Technique
    Swimming: Women's 100M Backstroke
    *In Summer Swimming the younger swimmers swim 50-Meter Backstroke, while the older swimmers swim 100-Meter Backstroke.
  • Breaststroke
    Breaststroke is often regarded as the most technical of all the 4 strokes. It is swum much differently that either Freestyle or Backstroke. Breaststroke involves a sweeping motion with the hands, rather than a full stroke. However, the Breaststroke kick, which is done like a frog kick, can be very powerful. Here are some more clips:
    Hansen Takes Breaststroke Final
    Hansen's stroke
    *For breaststroke events, in Summer Swimming the younger swimmers swim 50-Meter Backstroke, while the older swimmers swim 100-Meter Backstroke.
  • Butterfly
    While Breaststroke may be the most technically challenging stroke, Butterfly is usually considered the most physically demanding of the 4 strokes. It involves simultaneous arm strokes, as well as up-and-down “dolphin” kicks. Here is the world’s best swimming the stroke:
    Beijing Olympics Swimming 100M Bufferfly Final: Gold Michael Phelps
    *In Summer Swimming we swim both the 50-Meter Butterfly (all ages) and the 100-Meter Butterfly (older swimmers only).
  • Individual Medley (IM)
    The Individual Medley is not a stroke, but a specific event that involves all 4 of the strokes mentioned above. The strokes are swum in order starting with Butterfly then Backstroke then Breaststroke and finishing with Freestyle. Here is an example:
    Swimming: Men's 200M Individual Medley-Final
    *In Summer Swimming we swim the 100-Meter IM (younger swimmers only) and the 200-Meter IM (older swimmers only)
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