As a club we compete at various galas, at various levels of competition, so that all swimmers get a chance to compete. It should be considered by swimmers as a personal goal to achieve selection to represent the club and an honour to be part of the team taking part in the competition.

FDSC takes part in 3 leagues, all of which run over 3 rounds, with points accumulating to give the final positions at the end. You cannot obtain a qualifying time in these.

The Chiltern League – ranked as a C-Grade event with ‘no faster than’ time limits, which ensures that we don’t select swimmers who are too fast in the relevant events.

National Arena Junior League - virtual league aims to promote and develop competition team swimming in children between the ages of 9 and 12 years. 

The West Midlands Division of the National Arena League – highly competitive; we select our best available team.

As a club, we are invited to compete at various team galas, which are one-off events. Normally, the competition is between 6-8 teams, depending on the size of the pool.
These galas are run at various levels of competition, so allowing all abilities to have their opportunity to represent their club. As we are a competitive club, our aim is to win, so we will pick our strongest team possible at each level.


These are for members of FDSC only and run over 2 separate weekends with long distance events held on separate days, usually a Friday evening. Swimmers are encouraged to enter as many events as possible, subject to the Head Coach’s discretion, to build up a complete record of PB times.  Times set at the Club Championships will be recorded on the SE National Rankings and are eligible for entry into L3 Open Meets and County Championships.

These events are open to all members, although subject to age restrictions and qualifying times. Open meets are licensed at various levels 1 to 4 (see summary table) which should give everyone the opportunity to enter.
Times recorded at Licensed meets, including Club Championships are used to compile the SE National Rankings.
FDSC will always provide poolside coaching at Open Meets if they are part of the club’s annual competition structure.
The following table gives information relating to the levels of Open Meets set by Swim England:


Pool size




Long course 50m

Achieve qualifying times for National, Regional & County

A minimum qualifying time is required, verified in the Rankings from L 1 or 2 (National) events, or L1,2,3 for Reg. and County times.

Minimum Age: 10 years if age as at 31st December, or 9 years if age on last day of competition 



Short course 25m

Achieve qualifying times for National, Regional & County


LC and SC

Achieve qualifying times for Regional, County and L1 & 2 meets

Upper cut-off times are required for entry, and Lower qualifying times may be set.



Entry level events; county and L3 meets

Single club event or inter-club (max 8) run as single event

Age groups: As at 31st December in the year of competition, or on the last day of the competition.


For more information on licensed meets click on this link:

Licensed Meets | Competitive Swimming in England

County, Regional and National Championships

The Bedfordshire County championships are held annually and are an important event for the club. Every swimmer who qualifies is expected to enter. The next level up is the East Region, which holds age group, youth and open championships, and the Nationals. The qualifying times for these championships are tough.  To check them out, follow the links:

National Qualifying times | Search Results ( 

Swimming competitions - Swim England East Region (

Championship Index – Beds County ASA.

Note: County, Regional and National Championships will have ‘qualifying windows’, and must have entry times recorded on the SE National Rankings (except 10 and under entry times for the Bedfordshire County Championships).


It is important, therefore, to look at the club’s fixture list and plan to enter regular Licensed Open Meets which will give sufficient opportunity to set eligible and recordable times.

Swimmers can only progress if they have regular targets and goals to aim for, and it is very frustrating for them if they swim what they believe to be a County qualification time at a league or inter-club gala, only to find that it has not been set at a Licensed meet.