Big/Little Buddy Program

Kingsgate Royals Buddy Application FormClick this link to sign-up!

Applications close: TUESDAY JUNE 6, 2023 @ 5:00pm

The purpose of the Kingsgate Royals Big/Little Buddy Program is to help younger swimmers transition into becoming “Royals” by helping them (and their parents) navigate swim meets. The program fosters team spirit and camaraderie by connecting our older Royals swimmers with the younger ones.

Big Buddies are generally 12 & Olders. Little Buddies are 10 & Unders, with a strong emphasis on 8 & Unders or first-year swimmers. Our goal is to have all Little Buddies assisted by Big Buddies at all swim meets.

We aim to match our Buddies prior to the Kingsgate Invitational (week before competition begins), so that everyone gets practice at what the Buddy system entails. Both Buddies will be notified of the pairings.

At the End of the Season Banquet, both Big and Little Buddies are encouraged to bring each other a little “something” as a thank you (handmade card, candy, gift card, small toy, etc…).

Big Buddy Responsibilities

Meet Little Buddy prior to 1st meet and welcome them to the Royals (try to do this at Little Buddy’s practice – we encourage you to write a short note introducing yourself to the Little Buddy and his/her parents, but it is not required).


  • Greet Little Buddy before warm-ups at each meet.
  • Determine Little Buddy events and heats, and “Tattoo” race info on my Little Buddy’s arm. (Big Buddies should “Tattoo” Little Buddy’s events on their “non-race” arm in a different color ink as there are no heat sheets).
  • Bring Little Buddy to the Team Meeting prior to the Meet.
  • Teach Little Buddy and younger Royals the Royals Chant!
  • Get Little Buddy ready for each race:
    • ensuring cap and goggles are on Little Buddy & collect towel from family
    • walk to Check-in Coordinator and teach Little Buddy how to check in for their event
    • confirm Little Buddy knows what stroke to swim
    • take Little Buddy’s footwear, towel etc to the end of the pool after handover to Staging Volunteer
    • CHEER Little Buddy on as they race!
    • congratulate Little Buddy at end of race, give them their towel and belongings
    • encourage Little Buddy to ask for their race time from the Timer
    • walk Little Buddy to the Royals Coaches table to communicate the race time result
    • walk Little Buddy back to their family.


  • Answer any questions and support Little Buddy
  • Wave and be friendly! Behave in a respectful manner both on and off the pool deck (being a Big Buddy, teenager and older Royal, carries a lot of responsibility, admiration and expectation)
  • If unable to attend a certain meet, a Big Buddy is responsible to find a team mate to sub for him/her, to introduce the team mate to the Little Buddy, and, let their family know about the change
  • Communicate to the family if there is an event which interferes with getting a Little Buddy ready for a race (i.e. if a Big Buddy is swimming just before the next 8&U event, ask the family to take the Little Buddy to staging)

Little Buddy Parent Responsibilities

Big Buddies take their role as Royals Mentors very seriously and it can be easy to forget they have to participate and swim in their own events at each meet. To ensure our Big Buddies receive the support they need to effectively balance their mentor and team responsibilities, we are that Little Buddy families communicate with their Big Buddy:

  • If their swimmer will not be at a meet
  • Where to find your family at a meet (by the playground, on the pool deck etc)
  • What races the Big Buddy is swimming, so their Little Buddy can cheer them on!
  • If assistance is needed to get your child to his/her race (older swimmers events are held directly ahead of 8&U races, so your Big Buddy could be swimming when your child needs to be at staging)

The following are NOT responsibilities of a Big Buddy:

  • Hang out with / babysit Little Buddy during meet
  • Inform coaches of Little Buddy’s absence
  • Coach Little Buddy / give swim tips (this is the Coaches responsibility)

End of Season Tradition

At the End of the Season Banquet, both Big and Little Buddies are encouraged to bring each other a little “something” as a thank you (handmade card, candy, gift card, small toy, etc…).

We hope our Big / Little Buddy Program creates life-long connections throughout our Kingsgate Royals Swim Team!

Go Royals!