1.    What is the Pirates Swim club?

The Pirates is a parent-run summer swim club based out of the Brennan Park Leisure Centre in Squamish, BC. It is a club that aims to develop a love for swimming, competition and lifelong friendship.

Parents should note that the swim club is a competitive club and should not be considered swim lessons. The goals of the swim club are different and each swimmer has different goals as determined with the coaches.  

Our goal is to augment our summer swimmers therefore, if you join us during the winter maintenance season we anticipate that you will be continuing through the summer competitive season.  


2.    What are the swim seasons?

Summer Swim season: This competitive season runs from May to the early August (usually the first long weekend).  Swimmers have the option to attend several swim meets and Regionals held the first weekend in August.  Some swimmers may also qualify to attend Provincials later in August.

Summer Practices: Practice frequency increases during the summer season with an emphasis on stroke refinement, speed training and race technique. Schedules will be posted on the site, and on the bulletin board at Brennan Park. These sessions are specially designed for each ability level in a supportive and encouraging environment.  There are five group levels:

Mateys and Mini Mateys: 6 and under and new to the Pirates.

Buccanneers: (Div.2 to Div. 4 plus strong Div. 1) Swimmers who are developing their stroke fundamentals and technical skills.

Gunners: (Div.2 to Div. 3): Swimmers who have developed all their stroke fundamentals and have shown they are ready to increase their workload.

Swordmen (Div. 4 and over): THese swimmers are at a similar level to the Gunners but older. Stroke fundamentals are in check, and they are ready for more workload.

Captains (Div. 5 and older): THese advanced swimmers have learned to train and are ready for more intense training program.

A complete description of each group including practice schedules can be found HERE.

The Head Coach assesses swimmers the first few weeks of May to determine if there are any adjustments between the groups.

Meets: All Pirates have the opportunity to participate in BC Summer Swim Association meets in the Lower Mainland.  Swimmers can attend as many or as few meets they choose.  

Sign up for meets is now done online through our registration system.  Started in 2012, the Pirates are pleased to cover the race entry fees.  

Fall and Winter season (also called Maintenance): This season is non-competitive and focuses on stroke refinement, fitness and team-building. Swimmers practice one to two times/week. The fall season runs from October to December and winter runs from January to April.

Fall and Winter practices are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. Swimmers choose any two day combination.

  • New and developing pirates are expected to be on deck for warm up at 4:45pm with swim practice from 5:00pm- 6:00pm.
  • Experienced Pirates are expected on deck at 5:45pm for warm up with swim practice from 6:00pm- 7:00pm.
  • We also have combined practices and fun mini meets, where the swimmers can show off what they have learned.

3.    When is registration and what are the fees?

Registraion for is usually open 1 month ahead of each season. Please click the red registration button to access the registration software. Fees are determined before the start of each session. As we are a not for profit organization, we try to keep the fees as low as possible for families and we offer special pricing for families with 3 or more children. Email us for details at info@squamishpirates.com.


4.    What equipment does my child need?

A swimsuit, goggles, bathing cap and water bottle. Any swimsuit is fine and the club does sell boys jammers and girls bathing suits. Prices range from $25-$80. Silicon replacement caps are $15.

One swim cap is given to each new swimmer on their first day of training.

Swimsuits/jammers and other supplies can also be purchased at Team Aquatic Supplies on Dollarton Avenue in North Vancouver which is your best chance to find goggles and suits to fit all needs.

Check out website:  www.team-aquatic.com

Search under Women’s and Mens and ‘training suits’.

For girls:

Speedo Endurance – super pro back (wider strap)

For boys:

TYR jammers – like ‘How It's Done’

Any of these types of suits will last a while. Our team orders black and red colour combinations since many use them for racing too but get whatever your child likes!

Ask for a shark card from our executive, and you can receive 20% off.


5.    My child is young, can he/she still join?

Absolutely! If your child can swim 25m or one length of the pool unassisted and/or have completed Swim Kids 4 they cam join Pirates. The focus with young swimmers is to develop their stroke skills and give them confidence in the water and most importantly to have fun. Our coaches often get in the water with the little ones to help them along. It is important to note that the swim club is not swimming lessons, there are no interim reports or report cards.


6.    What are my responsibilities as a ‘Pirate Parent’?

Essentially, we expect you to support your child and the club in the best way you can. This will include volunteering at meets, participating in club events and fundraisers. There are parent meetings each month, as well as team nights where you can find out more about the club and ways to support your swimmer. Visit the registration page for more information and read the Athlete & Parent Guide.


 

7.    What happens on the day of a swim meet?

 Information about each meet, including the location of the pool, can be found on our web site, on our practices and meet page. We link the meet packages there as they become available. 

About 2 or 3 days ahead of a swim meet, the head coach will send out an email to all swimmers letting them know what time warm up starts for each of the days. Warm ups typically start as early as 6am up to 7:30am, with most meets starting at 8am to 8:30am. Warm ups are divided into group 1 and group 2/3.

When you arrive at the pool, look for the Pirates tents and flags. We try to arrive early to get the best tenting spots. Things to bring include a sleeping bag, warm clothes, 3 to 4 towels, pillow, cooler with plenty of healthy snacks, lunch, and water, chocolate milk, etc. All swim meets either provide a food truck, or make their own food on site, so bring cash if you want a burger.

Parents are reminded that they are ultimately responsible for getting their child to each race. Swimmers first talk to the their coach, and then head directly to marshalling where they check in. You may accompany your child to marshalling, give them a big thumbs up, and wish them well. Any swimming advice should be left to the coaches. Most often the coaches will want the swimmer to work on one particular aspect of their swimming during the race, and adding your own advice is counter productive, so just leave them with plenty of encouragement, and go to the parents area to watch the race and cheer them on.

Please read the parents code of conduct. This document was put together by the BCSSA and is worth the read. Click HERE.

After the race, the swimmer heads back to talk to the coach and is then free to head back to the tents. Make sure your child stays well hydrated between races.

At the start of each day, parents sign up for volunteer shifts, mainly to do timing, or if qualified, as a deck official. Most shifts are 2 hours in length and each club is assigned 1 or 2 lanes. As a smaller club, we normally get 1 lane with 3 parents per shift, and 3 shifts per day for a total of 9 shifts per day. Sign up sheets are usually found on the pool, and parents discuss who will what what shift at the beginning of the day. Being a timing volunteer means you get to sit pool side with a great view of the races and receive tidbits of food and drinks. It's a good job. If you are a deck official, there is a separate sign up sheet.

Most meets finish anywhere from 3pm to 5pm. Relays normally happen at the end of the day, so check with a coach if your child is on a relay team. If you are assigned to a relay team, it is important to stay for that race, as other swimmers on your team are counting on you. If you cannot stay till the end of a day, you must let the coach know during warm ups on the day of the race.