The Swimathon Foundation has launched a second Covid-19 Relief Fund to help the swimming and aquatics community cope with the ongoing impact and effects of the pandemic.
The Foundation launched its first Covid-19 Relief Fund in May, awarding £50,000 in grants and supporting over 100 swimming organisations to combat losses arising from the pandemic. With further lockdowns in effect and pools still closed, the second Relief Fund will make up a further £30,000 in grants available to provide additional support to those most in need.
The Foundation will again seek to allocate grants of between £250 and £1,000 to small swimming and aquatic organisations who are experiencing continued financial hardship from the effects of Covid-19, especially where access to financial support has not been available.
These range from national governing body-affiliated swim clubs, aquatic clubs and swim schools to independent swimming organisations.
Swimathon Foundation president and Olympic gold medallist, Duncan Goodhew MBE, said: “I’m thrilled that we are once again able to support the swimming community through this difficult time. Almost all swimming clubs and organisations are run by a few individuals who put in an immense amount of voluntary time. I’m so pleased that we were able to help so many last year, but the hard times have not gone away and a huge number of swimming clubs and organisations continue to struggle. These people remain the unsung heroes of the sport and it’s so important that the Swimathon Foundation continues to do all it can to help them get through this.”
The Swimathon Foundation brings together the recreational swimming community and seeks to encourage people to keep or become involved with swimming and aquatics and to enjoy the benefits it brings, including for physical fitness, mental wellbeing and water safety, whilst raising money for charitable causes. The Foundation’s activities include ‘Swimathon’, the UK’s biggest annual pool-based swimming event which takes place over one weekend at over 600 pools across the UK. 750,000 people have taken part since the first Swimathon event in 1986, raising over £50million for charities in the process. Last year’s event took place virtually owing to restrictions, but the Foundation hopes to stage Swimathon again later this year, providing it is safe to do so.
Swimathon chair Anthony Kendall OBE added: “Swimathon has been raising money for good causes for over 30 years, and this fund is a crucial part of its plan to give back. The role of the Swimathon Foundation has always been to support and encourage community swimmers, protect facilities and help charities, many of whom have experienced huge losses over the last year. I believe we did in 2020 and our Relief Fund was a huge part in that, so hopefully this additional funding will continue to offer support to those who most need it.”
To be eligible to apply for a grant, applicants should either be a registered or affiliated club or swim school with a national governing body or a small, local swimming organisation that may not be a traditional swim club/school but is working on a local level to provide swimming or aquatic activity in their communities. Applicants are welcomed from all over England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
For more information about the Swimathon Foundation and to apply for the Covid-19 Relief Fund grant, visit swimathonfoundation.org.