Frequently Asked Questions

On this page we have tried to answer the common questions we get asked about our training and also what to look out for at events. If you think that there is anything obvious that we're missing or that you would like to pass on to other parents, please email us at

About the training sessions

Q: Can I come along without being a member?

A: Provided your child is aged 8-16yrs and can swim 100m (4 lengths of the pool) un-aided, you can bring your child for a trial session and pay the £5 on the door.  Just come along on a Sunday morning that we are training and make yourself known to a coach.  We will ask you to complete a short Parental Consent form and then your child will be ready to join in.  If your child enjoys the session, we would then of course encourage you to Join Us !

Q: Can you teach my child to swim? 

A: I'm afraid that we don't teach children to swim.  What we do do though is teach those that can swim, the right technique so that they can swim faster and more efficiently.  This teaching is interspersed with lots of fun and games, especially for the Jonnys' (younger) group!

Q: What height should the saddle be on my child's bike?

A: Mark Lewis of Brighton Bike Fit has put together a great overview showing you how to set bike saddle heights correctly.  Once you've done it once, you can see the sort of height the saddle should be and adjust it manually as your child grows - occasionally referring to the guide again from time to time to check it.  Obviously this guide applies to adult bikes as well!

Q: What are the age group group categories for children's triathlon?

A: For compete beginners there is often a 'Try-a-tri' or 'Novice' unofficial category at events for various age groups such as 8-10, 11-14, 15-16 & 17-18.  The Triathlon England official categories are:

  • Tristars 1 - 9-10yrs

  • Tristars 2 - 11-12yrs

  • Tristars 3 - 13-14yrs

  • Youth - 15-16yrs

  • Juniors B - 17-18yrs

  • Juniors C - 19yrs

  • Seniors - aged 20yrs or over

Q: How do I know what age group my child will be in?

A: The age category that your child should compete in is the age category for the age of your child on 31st December of the year that they are racing in.  For example, if your child is 10 but turns 11 in April, they should race in the Tristars 2 category as they will be 11 on the 31st December that year.

Q: Does Ringmer Swimming pool have WiFi?

A: Yes it does.  Please ask at the pool reception for the WiFi access code.

Q: Can I get a coffee and food at the swimming pool?

A: We're afraid not.  There is a cold drinks and beverages machine though that requires payment for drinks and sweets.

Q: What do I do whilst my children train?

A:  We like to encourage parents to either help organise the children, go for a run, swim (you'll need to pay £4 via us) we keep one lane available for parents at the moment (subject of course to review if we have a lot of children!), or stay around and watch what their children are doing. 

About Children's Triathlon events

Q: What should my child take into the transition area (where the bikes are parked) with them? 

A: Their bike with their number on crossbar, their helmet with their number on the front and a water bottle

Q: How best can I explain what happens in ‘Transition’ to my children?

A: One of Brighton’s successful young athletes, Charlotte Matthews, has put together a video on dealing with Transitions as part of her exams. Take a look at it by clicking here.

Q: What should my child take into the swimming pool area with them?

A: They should be wearing their swimming costume and should take their goggles, a swim hat, a small towel, their trainers (and socks if they want but these take a long time to put on wet feet - see Q&A below!) and a t-shirt/race belt with their number pinned onto the front

Q: What should the children leave with their parents?

A: Their tracksuit bottoms and any other warm clothing that they take with them unless they are definitely going to use it in the race.  The idea is to keep the swimming pool and transition areas as free of additional items as possible to avoid any accidents.

Q: Should the children wear socks with their trainers when racing? 

A: Ideally not as they take time to put on and are particularly difficult to do so when wet feet are involved.  However, the caveats are whether the children have tried their trainers without socks beforehand to check how badly (if at all) they rub and how comfortable the children feel without socks. To combat this I recommend applying some Vaseline inside the trainers where any rub areas are, during transition set up. I also recommend a liberal sprinkle of talcum powder within the trainers to help soak up the damp from the swim.

Q: When the race specifies 'snaking' in the pool, what does that mean?

A: Snaking is a term used when the children swim two lengths in one lane and then duck under the lane rope into the next lane before starting another two lengths.  This is continued until they have reached the required distance for their age category and they then exit the pool.

Q: Should parents/carers volunteer to help marshal at events? 

A: Children's triathlon and aquathlon events are generally not money spinners for the event organisers.  In order for them to be run they rely heavily on volunteers to help marshal and look after the children so if your children enjoy racing these events we believe that it is important that you also try and help out where you can.  Not only is it a good thing for your children to see you volunteering and helping out, it is also great for you to be right up close to them as they compete so as to encourage them on.  This all said, of course, if there is only one parent/carer at the event, you are likely to be busy helping get your child/children organised and to the start line on time as well as carrying all their spare kit.  This is a very important role too, so volunteering in these circumstances may not be appropriate!    It is a great feeling though when you go home having volunteered and know that you have just helped a load of children to have a great fun and safe event.