County championships are the first level of national swimming competition. All keen club swimmers should aspire to compete in the Country Championships. To qualify a swimmer must achieve a Qualifying Time (QT) in a licenced swimming gala. There are many licenced galas held during the year, including the Club Championships.
Kent is a strong swimming county with a large population, therefore the Qualifying times are harder than many other counties. To allow the maximum number of competitors, the championships organisers set both an 'Automatic Qualifying Time' and a 'Consideration time'. The Automatic times are difficult to achieve but if a swimmer can do so they are 'automatically' qualified to compete if they enter. Swimmers who achieve the Consideration time should enter all the events they wish to compete in and once the closing date for entries has passed the organisers fit in as many swimmers who reached the consideration time as possible, with the fastest swimmers in each event selected first.
It can be frustrating for swimmers who achieved a consideration time but were not selected. Swimmers should remember that the Kent county qualifying times are fast and just to achieve a Consideration time is an achievement. Work with your coach to perfect your technique, enter other open competitions and aim for next year.
The Kent County Championships are held each year in January/February. For information about the "Kents" please go to www.kentswimming.org.