Swim England

A nation swimming

Clubs urged to take on The Tally ... a charity challenge with an Olympic twist

Swim England clubs are being encouraged to take on a charity challenge and complete every event on the Olympic swimming programme in a single training session.

National charity Level Water has launched The Tally to help raise cash to teach children with disabilities how to swim.

Swimmers can take on four different levels of the challenge throughout December and tick off each one on their arms as they go along.

They include:

  • GOAT (Greatest of All Time): all individual Olympic events and all relays (total 6,150m)
  • GOLD: including the 800m and 1500m (total 4,550m)
  • SILVER: including the 1500m (total 3,750m)
  • BRONZE: including the 800m (total 3,050m)

Thurrock Swimming Club took on the challenge last year and helped raise £3,000 for Level Water.

Paul Robbins, Thurrock’s head coach who organised the event, said: “We designed different challenges for each squad based on their ability and session time.

“The top squad even did an extra 800m and 1500m!

“It’s a great challenge to bring each training group together with one objective. They supported and encouraged one another throughout the challenge while raising money for a great cause.

“Having many coaches and swimmers with disabilities, it was an opportunity to raise awareness and money towards helping disabled children to access swimming lessons. Everyone took part even if they did not raise money.”

Fun, friendly event

The Tally swimmer

Level Water teaches children with disabilities to swim at the same pool in Thurrock and, ultimately, many go on to train and compete with the club.

Kenilworth Masters also took on the challenge and helped come up with the name for The Tally as swimmers mark off what they have completed on their arms.

Jill Groves, from the club, said: “It’s a fun, friendly event where we can let our hair down.

“It allows our members to challenge themselves to swim all the events, even relays, and swim strokes they don’t normally choose.

“Jelly babies are essential – and if they put the 100m Butterfly last then we’ll all be struggling.

“We always write the events down our arms, then tally them off as they’re completed.”

Level Water works closely with Swim England’s Para-swimming team to create specialist group lessons for children with disabilities.

Swim England also supports coach development to develop teaching and coaching skills, providing a smooth Para-swimming pathway

Ian Thwaites, chief executive of Level Water, said: “We’re delighted so many clubs have already pledged to take on The Tally.

“There’s still time to sign up for the challenge this month as we look to achieve our aim of helping as many youngsters with disabilities learn to swim and enjoy the water safely.”