Swimming club launches £20,000 fundraising appeal

Members of Richmond Dales Swim Club.

Richmond Dales Swim Club has launched a £20,000 fundraising appeal to help it bounce back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The club, whose members train at Richmond and Catterick Garrison pools, is hoping to raise £10,000, which will then be matched by a further £10,000 by Sport England.

More than £5,000 has already been pledged.

The club, which has around 130 members, said the pandemic had caused serious financial difficulties for the club.

It said in a statement: “Covid-19 brought an abrupt end to training and competition for the club and its members.

“At the point of lockdown our swimming squads were just preparing for our April Fools gala, which raises vital funds every year for the club, and ensures that swim fees are kept at an accessible level.

“We have also subsequently had to cancel a further two main fundraising swimming competitions, and in total have lost over £20,000 in revenue this year due to the cancellation of these events.”

It added: “Any donations will be gratefully received to help Richmond Dales remain the great family centred club it was before the impacts of this year.

“You will ensure that we can continue to thrive and provide the best opportunities for our present and future swimmers.

“It is imperative that our club continues for the mental, physical and social wellbeing of our members and their families.”

The club’s members include Thomas Flower who is ranked inside the top 12 overall rankings in Britain, and with a goal to compete at the next Olympics.

He is a multiple National Championships medallist and was selected to compete at the Olympic Trials in April 2020 before this was curtailed by lockdown.

In order to achieve this, he trains six days a week with Richmond Dales and at the North East Region performance swimming hub at Sunderland pool – training with the regions top coaches and other elite swimmers.

Thom completes 17 hours of swimming and 5 hours of strength and conditioning training every week.

Two other swimmers from Richmond Dales have been selected for a prestigious talent programme run by Swim England.

Joe Field and Archie Hare, both 12 years old, swim in the Para squad.

Joe, who has dwarfism and Archie, who is visually impaired, both qualified for the National Para Championships last year and their successes in the pool have led to them both being selected for Swim England’s Foundation Talent Programme 2020-21.

To support the appeal click here.