What is the Rotary MK Swimathon?

  • It’s an annual fun day that’s raised over half a million pounds for local charities since 1994.
  • Each year, 7 or 8 local charities are identified to benefit from the Swimathon.
  • 18 February 2023 will be Rotary MK’s 29th Swimathon.
  • It’s free to enter and held at Wolverton Pool.
  • 50+ teams of up to six swim on a relay basis for 55 minutes in a 25-metre pool.
  • No special swimming ability is needed.
  • Children of any age are welcome but must have parental permission.
  • A smaller event for swimmers needing assistance is organised by the Newport Pagnell Assisted Swim Club, which will be held at Middleton Pool on 11 March 2023. This also raises money for the chosen charities.

The 2023 Charities

Camphill

Camphill MK is home to 70 adults with learning disabilities and autism who live, work, celebrate and learn together. Within the community of Camphill, individuals engage in meaningful creative and environmental activities, and its sites in Willen Park and Pennyland have a purpose-built theatre, ceramics studio, weavery, vegetarian café, allotments, and upcycling facility. Camphill is growing and over the next 5 years will offer accessible accommodation to an additional 60 individuals. The Swimathon will help to raise £15,000 towards the provision of wet rooms in the first accommodation block.

Harry’s Rainbow

In Milton Keynes, on average, parents of 170 dependent children die in one year. Harry’s Rainbow supports young people in Milton Keynes and its surrounding area who have been bereaved of a parent or sibling. The charity provides information and guidance on the Web, regular support groups, activities, and individual tailored support. This summer, it also took 40 bereaved families to Woburn Safari Park to have fun, create new memories, and meet other families. Funds raised by the Swimathon will go towards 2023’s summer event.

MK Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice Milton Keynes is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and has helped over 450,000 people to solve 2½ million problems since it was founded in 1972. This year, it is taking part in the Swimathon to raise funds to cover the costs of a sessional worker who will provide advice and guidance to Milton Keynes people with sensory loss. This project will be able to support hundreds of local people who are hearing or sight impaired, to find a way forward with complex and serious financial, legal and personal problems.

MK Community Cardio-pulmonary Group

MKCCG was founded in 1989. Its aim is to provide appropriate exercise in a safe, friendly and community environment for local people who have heart disease, breathing issues or heart failure. Money donated from the Swimathon will go towards keeping the membership fee as low as possible in order to make access to our group as wide as possible, and for the purchase and maintenance of MKCCG’s gym equipment.

MK Safety Centre (Hazard Alley)

The Safety Centre is the region’s leading safety education charity. Both at its education centre, Hazard Alley, and out in the community, it teaches children, young people and adults how to be safe in everyday life situations. Funds raised from the Swimathon will be used to purchase a range of essential resources, including volunteer uniforms, AV equipment for its meeting rooms and classrooms, and materials for its education teams to take into schools.

MK SNAP

MK SNAP provides a leading programme of learning and life-skills to empower people with learning disabilities to be as independent as they can be and enjoy fulfilling and rewarding lives in our community. The funds raised by Swimathon will be used to support SNAP’s weekly literacy, numeracy and computer skill sessions.

PSP Association

PSPA is the only UK charity dedicated to creating a better future for people living with progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. It provides support and information to people living with PSP & CBD, and funds research into treatments and seeking a cure. Swimathon fundraising will be used to develop a network of support for Milton Keynes families affected by PSP & CBD through a support group and a new Link Volunteer Service to broaden its local services.

Q:alliance

This charity has supported the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community in Milton Keynes since the 1980s, long before we all benefitted from the inclusion and equality of today. Funding raised from the Swimathon will support Q:alliance’s youth groups, which help young LGBT people to reach their potential, and support their families and friends, so that we all have an equal stake in a diverse and inclusive city.

Willen Hospice

Willen Hospice is a much respected and vital local hospice that provides specialist care for people whose illness no longer responds to curative treatment. The money raised from the Rotary Swimathon will be used to pay for the petrol costs for our Willen at Home team who make over 3700 visits per year supporting our patients in their own homes.

Raising the money

Each swimmer collects sponsorship from family, friends, work colleagues, corporate donations, etc. by:

  • Online sponsorship via Just Giving, which claims 25% Gift Aid automatically on all eligible donations, and/or
  • Using Rotary MK’s sponsorship form and bringing the money to the event or paying it into Rotary MK’s Swimathon bank account. The Club claims Gift Aid from HMRC.

Using Just Giving

Go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/mkswimathon2023.

  • If you just want to make a donation, click on “Give now”. Please make sure that you mention which team you are supporting. Then, when MK Rotary Club collects the information from Just Giving’s report, we will be able to calculate how much each team has raised. Without that information, we won’t be able to credit your team.
  • If you want to create your own individual swimmer page or team page, click on “Start fundraising”. Other people can then make donations to this page, which will be forwarded to MK Rotary’s main Swimathon page, with an automatic record of which swimmer or team is being sponsored.

Sponsorship form

You can print off as many copies as you wish of the sponsorship form below. Each swimmer should use a separate form (or more than one form, numbering the sheets in the top right corner). It’s important to fill in the team name and the swimmer’s name and number. Please make sure that every sponsor who pays income tax fills in their house number and post code and circles “Yes” under “Eligible for gift aid”. Without this information, we cannot claim gift aid, which adds 20% to a donation.

Guidance for team captains and swimmers

  • The 2022 Rotary Swimathon will be held on Saturday, 18 February at Wolverton Swimming and Fitness Centre, Addington Avenue, Wolverton, MK12 5GH.
  • Each swimmer should be able to swim 50 metres. The length of the pool is 25 metres and although most swimmers only swim one length at a time, the water gets quite choppy.
  • Please arrive at the pool 20 minutes before your swim time. Meet together in the foyer and if you are using sponsorship forms hand them over to your team captain.
  • Team captains register their teams at the Swimathon reception desk and hand in all sponsorship forms. If any swimmer has a medical condition that needs reporting (e.g. epilepsy) please inform the receptionist.
  • Team captains will be issued with a lane card which is handed to the pool manager at the pool entrance.
  • Only swimmers and designated helpers can enter the pool area unless a child under 8 is swimming, in which case a parent/carer needs to be there. Spectators – including non-swimming team captains – please use the spectator area.
  • When using the changing rooms, Wolverton pool recommend that you leave valuable belongings in the lockers provided. A £1 coin is required to operate the locker (refundable when the locker is emptied). A wristband with key is then released. Non-valuable clothing in a suitable bag can be brought to the poolside.
  • After changing, all swimmers should assemble poolside and report to the pool manager’s desk. The team captain gives the lane card to the pool manager and decides at which end swimmers should stand and who swims first. The lanes will be clearly identified.
  • In the interest of safety, all swimmers and spectators are asked to follow the Wolverton pool staff’s instructions. The pool manager and Swimathon stewards are also responsible for activities in the pool area and we ask that you please follow their instructions also.
  • Refreshments are available adjacent to the spectator areas. It is not recommended to drink alcohol or take any drugs before swimming.
  • A quick changeover is essential. Please help by leaving the pool area promptly after your swim, taking all your possessions with you.
  • After the swim, team captains should collect a pack from the reception desk, which will contain swimmers’ returned sponsorship forms and certificates endorsing the numbers of lanes swum.

Rotary Club of Milton Keynes’ Commitment

  • No Rotarian receives any payment for their involvement in the Swimathon.
  • Less than 3% of the sponsorship total is used to cover the major costs to run the Swimathon, such as trophies, certificates, medals and stationery.
  • About 10% of the sponsorship total is transferred to Rotary MK’s charity fund to be used throughout the year to provide many small donations to local charities.
  • The remaining 85%+ is divided between the Milton Keynes charities selected for the year as listed on the sponsorship form. The size of the allocation to each charity is based upon the:            
    • Total sponsorship available                                                     
    • Sponsorship raised by the charity                                                        
    • Number of sponsored swimmers entered by the charity            
    • Amount required for the project the charity wishes to undertake           
    • Amount of additional support the charity provides on Swimathon day (e.g. lane clicking).

A charity will always receive in excess of the total sponsorship raised by their own teams.