Here are the most commonly asked questions we get. Should you have any further questions we can help you with, please get in touch using the contact us form 

About Crusaders

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Crusaders set up trials a few times a year which are advertised near the time. If you have a keen swimmer who would like to join us, please contact us using this form and we will contact you to make arrangements. We do have a waiting list for places in some of our squads but we are keen to meet enthusiastic and able swimmers of all ages.

Fees payable to Crusaders depend on which squad a swimmer is in. Details of our fees can be found here:

Training Squads and Fees

Payment is made each month by standing order.

Crusaders expect the highest standards of commitment and behaviour from all of our swimmers who are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct at all times.  The Code can be found here:

Club Policies

Should a coach have concerns about a swimmer during training or events, they will initially discuss matters with a parent and will follow the Disciplinary Procedure which can be found here:

Club Policies

Parents are asked to report absence using the form on the club’s website which can be found here:  

Members Area

Teamstuff has two functions at the club. Firstly, it is the club’s main form of communication for swimmers and their families. Secondly, it is a platform where we hold important information about our swimmers, including parents’ telephone numbers and a swimmer’s medical information. This information is then available to those people in the club who are poolside with your swimmers at galas and training.

It is important that all swimmers (not just one swimmer per family) are signed up to teamstuff and instructions are found on the club’s website here:

Members Area

The club’s primary form of communicate is via teamstuff, so it is important that every swimmer is signed up so they do not miss out on news relevant to their squad. Details of how to sign up to teamstuff can be found here: 

Members Area

The club also has an active twitter account and operates a closed facebook group for swimmers and their families only and the website is a good source of information.

Crusaders follows the Swim England policy on photography which can be found here. 

Child Protection Policy

Some galas have their own rules on photography and they will be published prior to the gala usually with the entry pack and in the programme.

Wavepower is published by Swim England and updated every three years.

The aim of Wavepower is to safeguard all children in line with current legislation, regulations and guidance and is for use within any Swim England affiliated organisation where children are present. As Crusaders is an affiliated club, we follow the principles, rules and regulations set out in Wavepower.

The latest version can be found here:


SwimMark accreditation is Swim England’s quality standard for clubs.   It recognises high standards of governance, sustainability and effectiveness. Any affiliated Swim England club can apply for the accreditation. Crusaders is a Swim Mark accredited club and more information can be found here:


Swim Week is organised by Crusaders and takes place every October half term in Eastbourne.  It is open to every swimmer from Academy through to Performance Squad and their families. The coaches put together an intensive programme of swimming and land training over the course of the week.

It’s a great way to meet other families as well as improve performance and endurance.

Details of Swim Week are sent to all families via spond and advertised on our social media pages.

Crusaders does not offer any scholarships to our swimmers. However, we offer a discount for any families who have more than 2 swimmers so that they pay 50% of the regular fees for the third and subsequent swimmer in the family.

This is Crusaders’ annual awards evening where the prizes achieved at Club Champs are handed out and other achievements recognised. It is also a great social event and there is always a disco or a Ceilidh band present.

The club has two club captains and their role is to support the younger swimmers at galas but also to represent the swimmers and communicate with the committee if necessary. They arrange a social event every year, usually in the summer.

 Any swimmer in Year 10 or above can put themselves forward and nominations are invited every year.  A ballot then takes place and the new Club Captains are announced at Presentation Night each year.

We would ask that a parent would initially discuss any concerns with a coach but for more serious issues or if you would prefer to raise an issue in writing, please contact the club welfare officer on: welfareofficer@linsladecrusaders.club


In the event that a parent is not satisfied with the club’s investigation of a complaint, they should contact Swim England’s Independent Child Protection Officer. Information about this process can be found here:


Training and kit

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Crusaders follows the Learn to Swim Programme. More information can be found here:


Once swimmers enter the squads, our experienced coaches develop bespoke training programmes for each lane to ensure that swimmers continue to develop their technique and performance.

Squad criteria can be found on the club’s website here:

Training Squads

The Head and Assistant Coach, however, have discretion to move swimmers between squads based on other factors.

The training schedules for each squad can be found here: 

Swim Development Squad




Crusaders is based at Tiddenfoot pool in Leighton Buzzard. However, some squads also train at following different venues:

You will be informed of the training schedule and venue for each squad as your swimmer progresses but it can also be found here: 

Training Squads

 The club expects swimmers to attend at least 75% of the sessions available to them. We recognise that some swimmers have other commitments, so if your swimmer cannot attend a particular session on a regular basis, we ask that you let us know.

 The club encourages parents to contact the club through the website if a swimmer is going to be absent.  This can be done here:       

 If there is a particular issue which will prevent a swimmer from being able to attend for some time, for example an injury we ask parents to inform the coaches as soon as possible.

The club offers regular land training for our swims in Skills development squads upwards. These sessions are not compulsory but do complement the training in the pool. They focus on strength training and conditioning and each session is tailored to the squad and age of the swimmers. There is no expectation that swimmers do additional gym training in their own time but if they do wish to do so, it is important that it is undertaken under supervision to ensure the training is safe and age appropriate. Please discuss additional land training with the Head Coach.

Our experienced coaches will spot potential in swimmers and will progress them through the club appropriately.

Outside of the club, Beds ASA and Swim England offer talent programmes for chosen swimmers and information can be found here: 


and here:


Crusaders is proud of its record as a competitive swimming club but most importantly encourages a positive attitude, good team spirit and individual improvement and development.  All swimmers with those attributes are welcome at Crusaders. We have a squad structure which caters for swimmers at all competitive levels.

Crusaders will provide all swimmers with all they need to know about swimming technique during their training sessions. However, the Head or Assistant Head Coach will always help advise and point swimmers to additional information were applicable.

Resources available :

Off the Blocks

For swimmers in SDP 5 to SDP9, there is no equipment required and any training aids required in sessions will be provided. Swimmers should attend each session with a good pair of goggles and swimmers with long hair should wear a suitable swimming hat.

Please see here for the full recommended list

Swimming Kit

When swimmers are invited to join SDP 10 and squads above that, they will be issue with a kit list.

This includes:

Fins – short type

Pull buoy – applicable to size and ability – i.e. some are very small so are not suitable for older or stronger swimmers

Kick board – Only small triangular boards – those where both hands can be placed through the straps in a streamline position. This allows for good body position

Hand paddles – need to be technique type and not the large type unless a strong senior swimmer who may use for strength reasons

Finger paddles – These are good additional aids. They are can be used effectively in Breaststroke were larger hand paddles are more difficult to use. They also give good feedback in other strokes

Snorkel – General stroke type. These are very good for technique improvement but must be maintained keeping them cleaned on a regular basis

There are a range of other aids available which coaches have available may sometimes ask a swimmer to try. Purchase of additional equipment should be discussed with the head or Assistant Head Coach.

In terms of Crusaders branded kit, we encourage swimmers to wear a Crusaders hat and top to any team events, galas or open meet and kit can also be ordered here:

Swimming Kit

It is good practice for swimmers to wear hats from an early age as they should be worn in all galas and open meets. Any hat can be worn during training but the club encourages swimmers competing for Crusaders in open meets, Team galas and County/Regional events to wear a Crusaders hat.  Hats can be ordered here:

Swimming Kit

Regular costumes/jammers are all that is required for training. Crusaders does not endorse any particular product or brand so it is entirely a swimmer’s choice as to which swim wear they use.

Some of our swimmers choose to wear race suits for competitions but we urge parents to read up on the benefits of race suits before purchasing them as they are very expensive and need careful handling.

Please speak to the Head or Assistant Head Coach if you are unsure. For young swimmers the benefits of an expensive race suit are very minimal and they will quickly grow out of them.

Team and Event selection

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Teams are chosen by the Head Coach or Assistant Head Coach. For Arena and Junior league, our fastest swimmers in each event for each age group will be chosen. The same will apply for invitational galas. For Chiltern League and other No Faster Than galas, team selection will be based on which swimmers best meet the time requirements, regardless of their age.

Parents of selected swimmers will be emailed individually by the coaches.

If your swimmer has been selected for a Team gala, the coach will inform them which event (s) they have been chosen to swim.

 Coaches will not usually prescribe which events a swimmer should enter for open meets but they like to see swimmers entering a good mix of events, particularly if a swimmer is close to County or Regional qualifying times. 

If you are unsure which events to enter, your swimmer’s coach will always be happy to advise you.

Entries for Splash Galas and Club Champs should be submitted on an entry form which are handed out to each swimmer at a training session in the run up to each gala.  Payment is required when the form is submitted.

For entries to supported open meets, details of each meet are emailed to swimmers via teamstuff with instructions on how to enter.

Should you wish to entry your swimmer for an open meet that is not supported by the club, you will need to contact the host club directly, but this should only ever be done with the approval of the Head or Assistant Coach and with particular targets in mind, such as Regional or County times.

Swimmers for team events are chosen by the Head Coach or Assistant Head Coach who will email parents of swimmers individually.

Times and Licensing

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A Short Course time is a time achieved in a 25m pool. A Long Course time is a time achieved in a 50m pool.

Generally, a swimmer will achieve a slower time in a 50m pool than they would in an equivalent event in a 25m pool.

Most meets and galas with qualifying times require a swimmer’s best short course time for an entry to be accepted.  You can convert times here: 


Most entry systems will automatically convert a swimmer’s time. However, in order to establish whether your swimmer has a qualifying time, a conversion can be done here:


Qualifying times can be set by host clubs for Open Meets and are in place for County, Regional and National events.

A swimmer has to meet those qualifying times in order to request entry to the event.  If they do not have the qualifying time, their entry will be rejected.

Licensed Meets are swimming events licensed by Swim England. The events have to meet certain standards to ensure fair competition. Times for individual swimmers from licensed meets are recorded centrally on the ASA database here:


Many Open Meets and events such as Counties, Regionals and Nationals require licenced qualifying times, some at different levels.  Not all events are licensed so it is important that, if your swimmer is aiming for qualifying times for particular events, they swim in licensed galas, such as open meets and our splash galas.

There are four levels of licensed meet and more details can be found here: swimming.org

All times achieved at licensed galas are recorded on the British Swimming Database. You can search for your swimmer’s individual times here: swimmingresults.org

It is also possible to search, for example, for the fastest times in the county for individual events and age groups here: swimmingresults.org

Licensed Meets are swimming events licensed by Swim England. This means the events have to meet certain standards to ensure fair competition.

Licensed times are required to gain entry to some Open Meets and for County Regional and National Events. Some galas, such as Chiltern League and Inter club galas are not licensed so times achieved at those galas will not enable entry to those competitions, even if they are fast enough.

There are different levels of licence (from 1 to 4) and further details can be found here:


Some events, such as Regionals require times from Level 3 meets and above, whereas for Counties, Level 4 times are acceptable.

Unlike the school year, the swimming year for age, runs from January to December.  For most galas and meets, a swimmers age will be their age on 31 December of the year in which they are competing.  This means that a swimmer born on 1 January will compete in the same age category as a swimmer born on 31 December of the same year.

Some galas set their age as a swimmer’s age on the date of the gala rather than at the 31 December and details of this will be included in the information which is emailed to all swimmers  when entries are invited.

The FINA Point Scoring assigns point values to swimming performances, with more  points being assigned for world class performances (typically 1000 or more ) and fewer points for slower performances. Point values are assigned every year and are based on times and not gender or age. Each swimmer’s licenced times are automatically converted in to FINA points and can be found on the ASA database here:


The FINA points table and base times can be found here:


Crusaders use FINA points to determine the winners of each age category in our annual   Championships after all events have been completed.

Crusaders keeps a database of each individual swimmer’s best times which can be found on the secure section of the website. This lists a swimmer’s fastest times from licensed or unlicensed galas and events which helps coaches understand a swimmer’s ability when selecting for galas.

Licensed times for individual swimmers are held on the British Swimming Database and can be found here: swimmingresults.org

It is also possible to compare swimmers in the country, region or county here: swimmingresults.org

The Importance of Volunteers

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Crusaders is run entirely by volunteers. There are many roles within the club, from regular coaching (both land training and coaching swimmers in the pool) to helping at galas and admin work behind the scenes. We welcome all offers of help however, large or small. If you would like to help, pleasse complete the volunteer form and we will contact you to find a role for you.

Apart from two paid coaches, everybody involved with the club is a volunteer. There is no central funding for swimming clubs so we rely on your fees, donations, sponsorship and the occasional grant to meet all costs incurred by the club. Those costs include pool hire, purchasing equipment, relay entries for galas and coach passes for Open Meets, as well as medals and trophies for our splash galas and club champs.

Without volunteers there would be no club. From coaches, admin, helpers and official at galas, we need a constant supply of ready and willing volunteers, including those who are happy to go the extra mile and become qualified coaches or officials.

Every swimming club relies on volunteers and every gala that your swimmer attends (including our own splash galas, open meets, Counties and Regionals) would not take place without volunteers.

Please contact complete the Volunteer form to offer any support you can and we will contact you to talk through any roles that may be of interest to you.

In order for a splash gala to run smoothly, we need around 40 volunteers.  In short, without volunteers, we cannot run the splash galas for our swimmers. If you would like to help at one of our galas, please complete the Volunteer Form

These people are officials and each has a different role, from timekeeping to stroke judges to referees. They are all volunteers but are qualified in the role that they undertake. Any club attending a gala is expected to provide a number of qualified officials and we rely on parents coming forward to ensure that we can meet our obligations. If you would like to learn more about becoming a time keeper or official, please complete the Volunteer Form as training can be arranged and paid for by the club.

The short answer to this is No. The most important attributes are commitment, enthusiasm and patience and of course a love of seeing the progress our swimmers make.  If you are interested in becoming a coach, please complete the Volunteer Form.  Full training  can be arranged and is  funded by the club.

Other Swimming Bodies / Governance

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Swim England is the National swimming governing body for England. Crusaders is affiliated to Swim England and as such follows and is guided by its rule and regulations.

Swim England’s website can be found here:


British Swimming is the Governing Body for swimming in the UK.  It is a federation of the national governing bodies of England, Scotland and wales. Its website can be found here:


Bedfordshire Amateur Swimming Association promotes swimming and other pool based sports such as diving, synchronised swimming and water polo in the county of Bedfordshire.  Clubs in the Bedfordshire area that are members of Swim England are also members of the Bedfordshire ASA. As such, Crusaders is a member of Beds ASA.

Beds ASA organises the County Champs each year and offers training and advice to local clubs and their volunteers. It also runs a Talent Programme for young swimmers who show potential and selects swimmers to represent the County at Inter County swimming events throughout the year.

Beds ASA website can be found here:


Swim England East Region is one of the eight regions of Swim England, the national governing body for swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo. 

Its website can be found here: eastswimming.org

Fina is the international governing body of swimming, as well as diving, water polo, synchronised swimming and open water swimming.

Its website can be found here: 



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Swim England has a set of competitive award standards and badges for swimmers to work towards regardless of age. The awards are split into Sprint (25m, 50m and 100m); Middle Distance (All 200m & 400m freestyle) and Distance (400m IM, All 800m and 1500m Freestyle).

Further information about times can be found here:


At Crusaders, Sprint Badges  ( not middle Distance or Distance badges) are awarded and  one of our coaches will be present at Tiddenfoot two or three times a year so that any qualifying swimmers can claim and collect their awards There is a small fee to cover the cost of the club buying the badge and certificates.

You will hear this phrase used when swimmers are disqualified at galas and open meets. All disqualifications (DQ’s) will be announced after a race to give coaches the opportunity to appeal should they believe the DQ was incorrect. The coach & swimmer can discuss the infraction but only the coach can challenge the infraction with the referee if they believe they have cause to do so.

Swimming is a very technical sport and there are very strict rules in place set by FINA to make sure no swimmers are given any kind of advantage over other swimmers in a race.  A breach of those rules (a technical infraction) will result in a DQ. There are a number of reasons why a swimmer could be DQ’d in a race, from false starting to missing the wall on a turn.  Around the pool will be a team of judging officials, they will report an infraction to the referee, it is only the referee that can DQ a swimmer.

It is very common for swimmers to be DQ’d during races, especially the younger and less experienced ones. If your swimmer is disqualified, they will naturally be disappointed. Our poolside coaches will always talk to the swimmer and explain why it happened and what they can do to learn from the experience. 

County colours are awarded to swimmers who have represented the County for the first time in a particular year. The presentation is made during the County Championships each year.

These are galas that take place throughout the year. Some events are Regional, so in the case of Bedfordshire, they wold compete against other Counties in the East Region, i.e. Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Others are National where all Counties in England will be present.

The fastest swimmers in the County for each event in each age and gender category will be selected to represent the County at appropriate events. Those chosen will be notified by email.