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FAQs

Where do I find information?
The PPSC website is full of information, as is the Parent Handbook. Please take the time to read through the handbook and familiarize yourself with the website. Meet inquiries, practice updates, post-meet summaries, and invoices will come to you via email. Other places to find useful information is Maine Swimming and USA Swimming.

Who runs the Portland Porpoise Swim Club?
The club is run by a volunteer board comprised of parents, alumni swimmers, and the head coach. The Board meets once a month, and parents are welcome to attend Board meetings.

Does my child have to compete in meets?
The Portland Porpoise Swim Club (PPSC) is a competitive USA swim team. It is expected that swimmers, once they have adequate experience (determined by coach), will swim in meets. If your swimmer has no desire to swim in swim meets, another program for your child might be a better choice.

Does my child have to attend every practice?
The choice to swim and be part of a team should be your child’s. The number of practices attended each week is up to you and your child. Parents should encourage their child to swim for the season and to attend practices. Coaches can only commit to the same level of success that your child commits to. There are inevitably times when a swimmer can’t make a practice. Instead of allowing your child to make a daily decision about going to practice, remind him or her of the importance in being part of a team and following through with the commitment he or she has made.

What equipment does my child need?
Every swimmer should have a team suit and cap to wear at meets. Suits and PPSC branded apparel can be ordered from the PPSC Gear Store.

For practice, swimmers need a practice suit, goggles, cap (optional for short hair) and water bottle. In addition, training groups will have specific equipment recommendations. Check out the equipment page for details.

How many meets are there and is attendance required at all of them?
Porpoise meets average about one per month and swimmers are expected to compete in as many as they can during the season. Parents should look at the meet schedule and determine which meets they can/will attend during the season and plan accordingly.

How will I know which meet my child should attend?
On the meet schedule is a narrative of the meet and which swim groups are expected to compete. A few weeks before the meet the head coach will send an email if your child will or will not be attending the meet, along with a deadline for sign-up. If you do not sign up your child by the stated deadline they will not be entered into the meet. The coaches will determine which events your child will swim in the meet.

What is a meet fee?
A meet fee is a nominal amount charged per swimmer for each event swum at a meet, usually $3-5 for Maine Swimming meets. The meet host may charge $5-10 per athlete for attending the event and that varies widely by host team. PPSC also charges a travel surcharge for away meets to offset the cost of sending coaching staff to the meet. All of these fees are added to your account and invoiced monthly along with any other fees due. For detailed information on meet fees and travel surcharges, refere to the Parent Handbook

Can I go on deck during a meet if my child needs me?
Parents are not allowed on the pool deck at meets unless they are timing. Occasionally, new swimmers become anxious and appear upset on the deck which is troublesome for parents. Before the meet, encourage your child to talk to their coach if they are upset about something, especially if it is swim-related. It is important for the child and coach to build a relationship. When times allows, coaches typically encourage swimmers to go to parents between events for brief periods.

What is swimming with the Porpoises like in summer?
It’s a little more laid back and the numbers diminish slightly in the summer, so it is a great time to start with the team and get more individual attention. It is encouraged that you continue into the summer to hone your skills and maintain fitness gains made during the short course season. Summer is the “long course” season, so we attend meets in 50-meter pools (one outdoors in Dover, NH!). The summer championship meet is usually held in St. John, New Brunswick in July and is lots of fun!

What is the purpose of swimming at out of state meets?
As swimmers develop and gain experience in competition, it is helpful for their development to swim against others with whom they’ve never competed. Going to places like Boston for a meet keeps the experience fresh and provides opportunities beyond swimming, not to mention the fun of staying in a hotel and sharing meals with your friends.

Are there social events for the team scheduled throughout the year?
We try to organize social events a few times each year. We’ve done things like a Yankee swap during the holiday season and summer session kick-off party. Each year, before the State Championship, we hold a Cupcake Pep Rally to recognize swimmers who have qualified for the meet. The kids really look forward to the annual banquet that is traditionally held in early April. Swimmers and their families are encouraged to attend and participate in all of these events.

Does the Club do any fundraising? What is the expectation of parents?
Parents are required to volunteer at meets and help in fundraising efforts in any way they can. Fundraising helps pay for pool time, coaches, social events and pool equipment. Our one main fundraiser is the annual Swim-a-Thon in the fall. Families gather donations throughout the month of October and on the evening of the swim-a-thon the kids swim laps and then enjoy pizza and fun raffle afterward. We also have one home meet, the Candy Cane Meet, in December. For this meet we need parents to be timers, officiate, work at admissions and the concession stand, etc.

You can also support PPSC by shopping on Amazon Smile (select PPSC as your charity) and SwimOutlet (click on the PPSC Gear Store tab). Both of these companies donate a portion of your purchase to the club.

Are scholarships available for swimmers?
No, at this time PPSC is not offering any scholarship assistance at this time.

Does PPSC have sponsors?
Porpoises are lucky to have several wonderful sponsors, however we can always use more. See our Sponsorship Page for more information.

Who can I contact if I have a question?
Parents in your child's training group are a great place to start. New members are also encouraged to reach out to our New Parent Liaison, Karin Tonello, at karintonello@yahoo.com. Otherwise, your coaches and board members are always open to questions!