Preparing for a swim meet

Going to a swim meet is a lot like going on a camping trip. There are some essentials that you absolutely cannot do without, as well as some luxury items that may make the time at the meet more pleasant for you and your child.


  • Swim suit or racing swimmers
  • Queanbeyan Leagues Swim Club / QT swimming Cap
  • Towels (Lots of them – they tend to get wet!)
  • Goggles (and maybe an extra pair, just in case)
  • Chairpad
  • Extra swim suits for warm-ups
  • Sweat shirt, sweater or tracksuit (depends on the season) to keep warm between events
  • Gym bag to put it all in
  • Dry clothes to wear after the meet
  • Pen or Marker / highlighter (to underline heat sheet and write events on the hand of your swimmer as a reminder)


  • A chair for you – depending on the venue as chairs are not allowed at the AIS
  • Cards, games, books, electronic device, etc, to keep your child entertained between events
  • Cards, knitting, books, etc, to keep you entertained between events when you are not time keeping or helping in another way
  • Healthy snacks (see more detail below)


Since most meet sessions last around 5 hours (including warm-ups), it is almost a certainty that your child (and maybe even you) will need some re-fuelling. It is recommended that you bring along some healthy snacks for the swimmer to eat before and during the meet. Foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in fats are best.

Re-hydration is also important – each swimmer should have a water bottle filled with water or sports drink to sip on throughout the day.


  • Sports energy drink
  • Water
  • Juice
  • Sandwiches (Home made are the best)
  • Fruit (be aware that citrus fruits are not the best when competing)
  • Crackers
  • Non-sugary cereals (eg mini wheats)
  • Low fat yoghurt
  • Fresh vegetable (eg carrot and celery sticks)


  • Soda and other carbonated beverages (decreases an athlete’s MaxVO2)
  • Commercially-made bakery products (usually high in sugar and fat)
  • Turkey (tryptophan – makes one sleepy)
  • High-fat or high-sugar foods


  • Pack things in small servings
  • Think finger food
  • Include an ice pack if necessary
  • Include enough variety for selection based on on-the-spot preference
  • Include things you know they like and are likely to eat
  • Provide utensils
  • Avoid items that require cutting (cut it at home!).
  • Don’t make them eat everything – you are providing choices – Use this to see what they eat and don’t eat!