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City of Cambridge Swimming Club make a splash with fundraising campaign

City of Cambridge Swimming club members, pre-lockdown in March 2020. Picture: Julie Scott
City of Cambridge Swimming club members, pre-lockdown in March 2020. Picture: Julie Scott

City of Cambridge Swimming Club have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise vital funds to help during the pandemic.

They have more than 300 members, ranging from Olympic trialists and national qualifiers to para swimmers, a water polo team, masters swimmers and an academy section that helps members transition from Learn to Swim programmes into the club environment.

During the first lockdown, they reduced membership fees by 75 per cent and have had to furlough the coaching staff. As a not-for-profit sports club, City of Cambridge do not receive any government grants and have to be creative in engaging members to keep them physically and mentally fit.

“When swimmers are used to training in the pool for a significant number of hours per week, along with land training, our coaching team have had to adapt what we do and think outside the box, and they have done some incredible work with swimmers of all ages,” said Catherine Pearson, City of Cambridge chair.

They hosted online strength and conditioning, three yoga classes a week, family quiz nights and ‘cookalongs’.

When swimming was permitted again, all members returned to training under Covid restrictions and a new timetable.

However, a large proportion of the annual revenue comes from running open meets, and they were all lost in 2020, and are unlikely to be held in 2021.

“The impact on our finances is significant,” said Pearson.

“Sport England is supporting clubs through providing match funding to help clubs to survive during the pandemic and to be able to provide sporting activities to the community once we are able to return to the pool.

“By raising funds we are able to maintain our new schedule when we return to training and have a more secure future of high-quality training for young people, water polo players, para swimmers and masters.”

The crowdfunder will allow people to purchase limited edition training swim hats, gym membership at a reduced rate and bootcamp sessions.

There is also a raffle with prizes including signed photos of Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty, a top signed by world champion swimmer Alice Dearing, a signed Cambridge United shirt and much more.

For more details, go to crowdfunder.co.uk/just-keep-swimming.

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