What is the Rotary MK Swimathon?

  • 2021 would have been Rotary MK’s 28th annual Swimathon. Due to the Covid
    restrictions this was postponed until February 2022 – see below
  • It used to be at Stantonbury Pool. It’s now held at Wolverton Pool.
  • Half a million pounds has been raised for local charities since 1994.
  • 50+ teams of up to six swim on a relay basis for 55 minutes in a 25-metre pool.
  • Entry is free.
  • No special swimming ability is needed;
  • Children of any age are welcome but must have parental permission. Most teams enter just for fun.
  • Each year, 7 or 8 local charities are identified to benefit from the Swimathon. The selected charities enter swimming teams and provide help on the day.
  • There is also a special event for swimmers needing assistance, organised by the Newport Pagnell Assisted Swim Club, and held at Middleton Pool. This also raises money for the chosen charities.

Raising the money

  • Each swimmer collects sponsorship from family, friends, work colleagues, etc. through:
    • On-line sponsorship via Just Giving, which claims 25% Gift Aid automatically on all eligible donations
    • Using Rotary MK’s sponsorship form, paying the money into Rotary MK’s Swimathon bank account. The Club claim gift aid from HMRC.
  • Local companies make corporate donations to sponsor either a team of their employees or another team of their choice.

2021 Swimathon

Where and When?

Following much discussion with club members and the charities we planned to support this year, we have very regretfully concluded that a Swimathon in the June 2021 half-term break is not feasible.

The Covid-19 situation is looking increasingly hopeful, and swimming pools have re-opened. But the manager of the Wolverton Pool, Matt Leeder, has pointed out that they are still expecting to be operating with reduced numbers in the pool. Also, the requirements of social distancing make the use of changing rooms and showers more difficult, as well as constraining the number and movements of non-swimmers, who play such an important part in the fun of Swimathon day.

The next Swimathon will therefore be held on 19 February 2022 at Wolverton Pool. It will support the 8 charities that we chose for 2021: Willen Hospice, Bus Shelter MK, Transitions UK, Hazard Alley, Supershoes, Emergency Rider Volunteers, Q:alliance, and Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Please put the date in your diary and watch this space for any updates in October, when we open lane bookings.

Any queries to euan@euanandirene.co.uk or 01908 616840

2020 Swimathon report

  • 51 teams took part at the Wolverton Pool, with another 10 in the Assisted Swimathon, with a total of about 350 swimmers.
  • Over £25,000 raised in sponsorship for seven local charities: Willen Hospice, MK YMCA, MK Safety Centre (Hazard Alley), MK Hospital Charity, MK Dons Sport & Education Trust, MK Citizens Advice Bureau, and Dogs for Good.
  • Almost 100 volunteers assisted over the two events at Wolverton Pool and Middleton Pool, Newport Pagnell.

Two teams from the Willen Hospice team of swimmers

Two of the youngest swimmers proudly displaying their medals

Guidance for team captains and swimmers

  1. Each swimmer should be able to swim 100 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.
  2. Please arrive at the pool 20 minutes before your swim time. Meet together in the foyer and hand over your sponsorship forms to the team captain.
  3. Team captains register their teams and hand in all sponsorship forms at the Swimathon reception desk. If any swimmer has a medical condition that needs reporting (e.g. epilepsy) please inform the receptionist.
  4. Team captains will be issued with a lane card which is handed to the pool manager at the pool entrance.
  5. Only swimmers and designated helpers can enter the pool area unless a small child is swimming and needs a parent/carer to be there. Spectators, including non-swimming Team Captains, are to use the spectator area.
  6. The teams change in the changing rooms and 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Refreshments are available adjacent to the spectator areas. It is not recommended to drink alcohol or take any drugs before swimming.
  10. A quick changeover is essential. Please help by leaving the pool area promptly after your swim, taking all your possessions with you.
  11. 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

  1. No Rotarian receives any payment for their involvement in the Swimathon.
  2. 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.
  3. Between 10% and 15% of the sponsorship total is transferred to the Rotary Club of Milton Keynes’ Charity Fund to be used throughout the year to provide many small donations to local charities.
  4. The remaining 80%+ 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 stated project the charity wishes to undertake;
      • Amount of additional support the charity provides on Swimathon days (e.g. lane clicking).

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