When is training?

The regular training schedule is as follows.  If something unusual is happening this week we’ll indicate that in red.

WednesdayStockport7:15 – 9:15pm
SaturdaySaleSession 1
2:00 – 3:00pm Land
3:00 – 4:00pm Water
SaleSession 2
3:00 – 4:00pm Land
4:15pm – 6:00pm Water
SundaySale8:00 – 10:00am Water

What are the upcoming dates for gradings, competitions and displays?

Sat 28th JanFigure/Routine Grade Day for Grades 3-5Stockport
Late Feb / Early MarchRegional ChampionshipsBlackpool (provisional)
Sat 25th/Sun 26th March
Sat 1st/Sun 2nd April
National Youth & Age Group ChampionshipsTBC
Sat 22nd / Sun 23rd AprilNational Junior and Senior ChampionshipsNottingham
Sat 8th JulyCombo CupPonds Forge, Sheffield

How can I help the club?

Good question!  The club roles are filled by volunteers with a connection to the club, and we always need more help. There are lots of opportunities available, all requiring different amounts and forms of commitment, and you can read more about them here.


The coaches are the heart of our club.  They set the tone for our training sessions and are responsible for the warm and inclusive atmosphere that means so much to our swimmers.We are in need of more coaches. It would mean that we could give our swimmers more individual attention and take on more from the waiting list.  In particular, having more coaches would mean that when coaches are unavailable due to attendance at competitions or grading days (many of our coaches are also judges), we have enough coaches left in Sale to deliver high-quality training for the rest of the club.Being a coach is a significant and rewarding commitment, and training is provided.  Talk to Margaret Monks (our head coach) if you would like to know more, or read what Swim England have to say about Synchro coaching.


The committee runs the club and oversees its governance.  It meets monthly and see can see the filled roles in the Who does what? section below.We have some committee roles that will shortly be open:SecretaryMembership SecretaryWelfare OfficerIf you would like to know more about how you could help out the club by taking on one of these roles, please send an email to contact@traffordartisticswimming.org.


For grading days and competitions, judges and other officials are provided by the participating synchro clubs.Currently, most of our judges are also our coaches.  This means that when we attend an event, we often find it hard to keep enough coaches back in Sale to run the regular training sessions for swimmers who are not participating in the event.Being a judge requires you to undertake a training course (read more here) and pass an associated test.  The ongoing commitment is to attend a few grading days and competitions per year.

Competition and Grading volunteers

For grading days and competitions, we are usually asked to provide some parent volunteers, in addition to our formally-trained judges.  This usually involves being poolside during the event, marshalling swimmers, recording video, or running score sheets too and fro.For every event that requires it, our competition secretary will send out a call for volunteers to the adults accompanying the swimmers.  In some cases, the number of volunteers that we provide determines how many swimmers we can enter for an event, so we really appreciate any help that you can provide.

Who does what in the club?

The club is run by a committee of volunteers, who meet monthly, usually during a Saturday training session.  The following tables shows the various roles, who currently holds that role, and what their responsibilities are.

Chair – Geraint North

The Club Chairperson is seen as a figurehead, ambassador and a principal officer for a club. A Club Chairperson is an elected member of the committee with responsibility for overseeing the running of the club.

Treasurer – Tsuiyen Browne

Manages the club’s accounts and finances; responsible for income and expenditure.  Organises the booking of facilities and lifeguards.

Secretary – Annie Nicholls

Responds to emails, sends out emails regarding meetings, events etc. Counter-signs all the payments, keeps minutes of meetings, writes the agendas and disseminates any information from the regional and national committees.  

Membership Secretary – David Ross

Deals with new enquiries and arranges taster sessions, administration for new members and annual renewal of the Swim England online membership service.  

Competition Secretary – Jennifer Johns

Manages the entry process for competitions and grading events.  Also books volunteers onto the relevant training courses.

Swim Mark Officer – Anne-Marie Caporn

Collates information and prepares the application for the yearly accreditation of the club by Swim England.

Welfare Officer – Wendy Terry

Coordinates safeguarding requirements for the volunteers and ensures a safe environment for the swimmers. Responsible for application and verification of DBS checks, and maintains the register for DBS and safeguarding courses.

Social Secretary – Catherine Carrasco

The social secretary runs our social events and displays.

Team Managers – Samatha Meloni

Co-ordinates with the Competition Secretary and Coaches.  Responsible for registering all swimmers and attend Team Managers meetings on the day of the competition.Oversees the schedules, readiness and well being of the swimmers.

What is Grading?

Grading is the process by which a swimmer’s progress is tracked and their suitability for competitions is assessed.  Synchro competitions usually require that team members fall within both a specific age and grade range, so obtaining these grades directly affects the teams and competitions that swimmers would be applicable for.

There are two types of grade – Figure Grades and Routine Grades. Historically, Figure Grades have been the important ones, as they set the requirements for competitions, but from 2023 specific Routine Grades will also be required.

Grades are assessed at Grade Days throughout the year.  We try to go to all of the days organised for the North West region, and occasionally we’ll travel to another region, usually because we really need to get certain swimmers to certain grades by a particular time in order for them to qualify for a competition. There are also virtual grade days, where we film the routines and send them off to be judged.

Grading days usually last for about four hours.  On the day, our coaches take the swimmers for a land-based stretch and warm-up before the official start time.  For figure grades, they are then assessed on their splits (every figure grade has a requirement for land-based splits in addition to the in-water figures), before moving on to the figure assessments.  Depending on the swimmer numbers, they will usually judge in grade-groups (e.g. first judge everyone doing grades 1 and 3, then everyone doing 2 and 4), but we don’t know this until we turn up, so plan to stay right until the end of the session, as it might be necessary.

Directly after the event, each swimmer will have their score sheet to take home with them.  These are the only documents that contain the individual marks for each figure (as a club we only get told the overall pass/fail mark).  Margaret will want to see these, so please make sure that the swimmers keep hold of them!

If you’d like to know more, the best resource is this Swim England page: https://www.swimming.org/synchro/synchro-skill-levels/.  If you click on the relevant figure  or routine grade, you’ll see what each of the grades requires, and video demonstrations of each figure.

If you want a reminder of where a swimmer is up to with their grading, please just email the competition secretary (competitions@traffordartisticswimming.org) and ask.  If you would like to know when a swimmer might be ready to be entered for their next grade, please chat to one of the coaches.

What equipment do I need for competitions or grading?

  • Mats and blocks to warm up for splits
  • No nail polish, earrings or other jewellery can be worn.
  • Black swimsuit
  • White Cap
  • Nose clips (x2)
  • Goggles
  • Flip Flops (recommended)
  • Spare towel to keep warm
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • Leotard or swimsuit for splits assessment

What are you codes of conduct?

Codes of conduct for parents and swimmers are available here.

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