Dear Parents and Swimmers,
First of all, what is Diddy League?
Well, it’s a series of three galas involving competitors aged 9 to 11 from swimming clubs throughout Cumbria: Barrow, Kendal, Copeland, Workington, Carlisle, Cockermouth, Penrith and of course Ulverston. For the opening round the competition is split into two, geographically determined, groups. Ulverston will be allocated to the southern meet and race at Kendal on April 1st. The venue for round 2 depends on the results of the first round but will be at Carlisle or Penrith on May 13th. The top eight teams progress into the final which this year will be held on the 18th June at Workington.
Each club sends a team of boys and a team of girls to compete. You swim as the age you will be on April 1st, the date of the opening round. There are freestyle and medley relays for each age group as well as a single sex Free Cannon with two girls and two boys from each age group respectively. The highlight of the gala is the Mixed Cannon composed of the fastest girl and a boy from each age group. This is always the loudest, most exciting event – bring earplugs. You have been warned! In addition to the team relays there are individual events for both girls and boys across all age groups where swimmers race a distance of 50m in front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly with the exemption of the 9yr olds category who only swim 25m butterfly.
For the first two rounds, parents provide the transport and a very effective and loud support group! For the Final we do expect the team to travel up together in a coach, as this allows us to really build on the team spirit and get the expectations raised! If you are planning on watching any of the galas, you will have to arrive early and be prepared to wait in a queue to get yourself a good seat.
It’s really important that all swimmers wear an Otters shirt and hat on poolside and bring a pair of pool shoes, like flip-flops to wear between races. A spare pair of goggles and trunks/costume are very useful too!
Finally, to my favourite part, the food! The best thing to eat the night before a competition is a meal with plenty of carbohydrates, like pasta or rice (not chips!). Have a good breakfast on the day, and have your lunch about 2 to 4 hours before the meet. A good breakfast would be cereals and toast, muffins or bagels. For lunch, have something high in carbohydrates like cooked rice or a baked potato, but go easy on the protein and fat! On poolside, you will need to have something like fruit, dried fruit, low fat energy bars or bread snacks and most importantly a drink, ideally water or weak squash or diluted juice (NO FIZZY DRINKS and definitely NO GLASS BOTTLES). When it’s all over, make sure you get another big dose of easily digestible carbs to help your body recover.
I hope that this has given you an idea of what to expect this year and we look forward to working with you all to bring that Diddy League trophy back to Ulverston. Be prepared to work hard to be the best that you can be and most importantly be ready to have fun!
Diddy League Team Management