Killerwhales funding boost from Swimathon Foundation

Killerwhales face the camera

Killerwhales face the camera - Credit: Archant

Killerwhales Swimming Club has received vital funding from the Swimathon Foundation.

The Havering club applied for the grant as part of a Covid-19 Relief Fund, to mitigate loss of income while pools are closed and sessions unable to take place.

Primarily coaching competitive swimming to children through to the Masters age group, Killerwhales also teach children how to swim.

With the coronavirus outbreak preventing the use of swimming pools, the club have been running well-attended virtual land training sessions and setting daily challenges for swimmers.

The Swimathon Foundation grant will help to support this activity and bridge the gap once pools re-open and club secretary Leon Shanahan said: “Obviously, we’ve had no swimming since the end of March, and since April a majority of parents have stopped their squad fees.

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“Some are continuing to pay to help support the club, and we are continuing to pay some teachers and our head coach because that is all they’ve got is this job in swimming.

“They don’t get paid a lot of money, but the funding we have got from Swimathon is going towards them and our public liability insurance which we had to pay at the end of April for the whole year.

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“More importantly we have been doing land training with our personal trainer who takes one of our session every Saturday in a normal training week, but we’ve been able to set up a Zoom account and do three sessions a week for all squads.

“That has been a fantastic effort to keep the club and the swimmers active with challenges every day. It has basically allowed us to pay her and keep the club going and keep the club together.”

Swimathon Foundation announced £50,000 worth of grants had been awarded to over 100 swimming clubs, swimming schools and independent aquatic organisations last week.

Chair Anthony Kendall OBE added: “In these difficult times for all swimming organisations, the Swimathon Foundation has been determined to play its part in supporting those smaller, local groups that are the foundation of swimming participation throughout the UK.

“We’ve been taken aback by the number of people who need help during these unprecedented times and that is why we have increased our overall donation to £50,000. Swimming is a vital community activity and we are proud to play our part.”

The Swimathon Foundation is a ‘force for good’ in communities in the UK and its main pool-based ‘Swimathon’ has raised over £50million for charity in 33 years.

The UK’s biggest pool-based recreational swimming event runs annually at 600 pools in the UK and 750,000 people have taken part since the first event in 1986. This year’s event is scheduled to take place later in the year.

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