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Why I’m backing Swim England to recover and preserve what matters to me

Masters swimmer Kath Tunnicliffe explains why she has renewed her Swim England membership.

I’ll be honest with you… I don’t really have an endearing love for Swim England.

However, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on renewing my membership … and why I’m backing Swim England as the only organisation I’m aware of who can stand up for swimming.

Like many of you, I feel ‘hard done by’ to have paid out for Swim England Category 2 membership in 2020 and had next to no benefit.

Now to be asked again in 2021, when there’s no sign of a return to normality, it all feels a bit much.

Yes I know many feel they should pay the minimum possible, holding back until competitive options become a reality.

This is an obvious choice and one many will take. However, I just wanted to put forward an alternative idea.

Basically the fees we commit pay people’s wages. Many, including our Swim England Masters representative, have already been made redundant and their roles assimilated.

I’m sitting at home in lockdown afraid to raise my expectations for the future – and my mental health is better off at the moment if I live every day without any future aspirations.

However, deep in my soul, there is a hope/desire/aim to compete again and if I had a wish list it would be close to the the top.

Basically, in order to achieve my desires, I need Swim England.

Best bet I have

I need Swim England to use its influence to open pools, to fight for pools facing closure and to get competitive opportunities off the ground again.

I have to back the team – they are the best bet I have.

Yes, I could hold back my Category 2 fees until I’m sure I’ll get a competition.

If I did this, our membership secretary would probably double her workload by reallocating my membership category later in the year.

En masse, it could prevent Swim England from having to decrease its infrastructure and influence as a result of lower income.

I also have to ask myself how important is this money to me? Will it change anything for me?

Now I do know there are folks who need every penny as times are hard – this discussion is not for them.

Because of lockdown, I’m restricted and can’t spend much money so reducing my outgoings is not a priority.

I’m going to view my fee as an investment/bet/gamble.

In the future, I want as many people as possible to be able to access water for whatever aquatic activity they desire.

Swim England can have my money – it’s a donation, to recover and preserve what matters to me.

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