Gateshead & Whickham swim club COVID impact fund

Matthew Grant profile

Project by Matthew Grant

Gateshead & Whickham swim club COVID impact fund

Matthew Grant profile

Project by Matthew Grant

£15,899

£16,000 target 1 day left
99% 312 supporters

We are raising funds to replace the income we usually make from our swimming galas and help secure the club's future. Our target is £16,000

Summary of the Gateshead and Whickham (GAW) Crowdfunding project

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Our swimming club has enjoyed over 100 years history in the region, which we are extremely proud of.   Over this time, we’ve added real value to the lives of our swimmers as well a sense of community to everyone involved.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on our club's finances, as we have not been able to host our own swimming galas. The funds we raise from our galas are a significant part of our overall income and help us pay for our pool hire and coaching.

We are raising funds to replace this lost income and help secure the future of our club.  Our target is to raise £16,000, the same amount that we raised from our galas in 2019.  Sport England will contribute 30% of our target, as long as we raise the rest ourselves.

Please help us to reach our target, by either making a donation or buying one of the great rewards we have on offer, many of which are at discounted prices. Many of our rewards relate to swimming, but there are plenty which will interest people who are not involved in swimming.

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Who are we?

The club currently has 130 active swimmers whose ages range from 8 to 76. We provide structured, coached training sessions to nine squads which include those just starting swimming training, several competition squads and a masters squad. The majority of our junior swimmers, and some of our masters swimmers compete regularly in local, regional and national galas.  

Junior and masters swimmers from the club won events at both national and European levels in 2018.  In 2019, the club had one medallist and four finalists at the Swim England national championships and won 11 golds and 12 other medals at the North East long course regional championships. The club also qualified for the national junior league final in 2015 and 2016, coming 6th and 5th respectively.

The competitive aspect is important, but we also enable all our swimmers to develop their confidence, independence and self-discipline as well as their swimming skills.  Our masters section enables adult swimmers who don’t compete to improve their fitness and well-being.  We also help swimmers develop a strong team ethic and a love for the sport.  Individuals who develop these attributes through swimming will often retain these attributes throughout their lives.

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Our swimmers mostly come from the Gateshead borough, which includes several areas of social and economic deprivation. We currently have more female swimmers than male swimmers, and our squads include many individuals from minority ethnic groups and also some with disabilities.

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Our members also include nearly 200 parents of junior swimmers, many of whom support the club at galas, with fundraising and recently as COVID reps at all training sessions.  Our committee includes representatives for each of our squads, as well as a chairperson, secretary, treasurer and child welfare officer.  Other committee members look after our website, membership, Swim England renewals, Swim Mark, competitions, officials and marketing and promotion.

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The financial impact of COVID 19 on our club

One of the main impacts of COVID 19 on the club’s finances has been the loss of the profit that we usually makes from our own swimming galas, which helps us pay for our pool hire and coaching costs. In 2019, we ran three galas which together generated a net profit of £16,000.  Due to COVID 19, were unable to run our own galas in 2020, and it is unlikely we will be able to run any galas in 2021.

Following the closure of all pools in March 2020, our normal pools in Gateshead have not reopened, so we sought new venues to resume training in August 2020. We have been using community run pools in Elswick (the photo below is of our masters squad at Elswick pool) and Jesmond in Newcastle, and more recently Benfield school pool and Hadrian pool, all four of which we will return to in April if the Gateshead pools have not reopened.

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When we resumed training at Elswick and Jesmond in August, we were initially only able to source between 50% and 60% of our normal water time prior to COVID 19.  Our swimmer income during that period was sufficient to cover these lower costs, despite no income from gala profits. 

In December 2020, we se1615909194_patrick_speight_at_end_of_swim.pngcured more water time at Benfield and Hadrian pools, which increased our costs for pool hire and coaching. As a result, the club incurred a significant operating loss in December 2020.  When we return to swimming in the four Newcastle pools, hopefully on April 12th, our increased water time will be  an average of 94% of the pre COVID water time across all squads, enough for the club’s swimmers to compete successfully.

What will these funds be used for?

We need to increase our income significantly to cover the additional pool hire and coaching costs due to the increase in our water time.  The funds we raise from Crowdfunding will help us to meet these additional costs until we can resume hosting our own galas in 2022.  We have set our Crowdfunding target at £16,000, the same amount as we generated from the club’s galas in 2019.

We expect that we can resume our normal programme of home galas in the spring of 2022, and the resulting gala profits will then be available to replace the funding raised from this Crowdfunding project. 

Stretch target of £20,000

We also have a stretch target of £20,000.  If we exceed our target of £16,000, we will donate 50% of the over achievement to a local children's charity and use the remaining over achievement to help us purchase backstroke starting wedges, so our swimmers can improve their backstroke starts.

The physical and mental impact of COVID 19 on our swimmers

During the first lockdown our coaches organised zoom catch up sessions and outdoor land training sessions, to maintain engagement with their swimmers. The coaches soon became aware of the impact that closure of the pools was having on our swimmers physical and mental wellbeing.  The absence of their favourite sporting activity, together with the inability to meet with their friends from swimming, led to many swimmers experiencing a lack of motivation and a sense of social isolation which was having a negative impact on their mental health.  

To help motivate our junior swimmers, the club organised a fundraising challenge last May.  Each swimmer measured the distance they cycled, ran or walked in the half term week, with a collective target to exceed the distance from Gateshead to Budapest (1200 miles),  the venue for  the European swimming championships in May 2020.  We achieved nearly treble the distance and raised £7000 to buy new starting blocks, as well as providing an individual and collective physical challenge for our swimmers.

Durin1614704633_gaw_crowdfunding_-_zoom_strength_and_conditioning_.jpgg the last two lockdowns, our coaches have enhanced the virtual training programme, delivering several zoom sessions each week covering stroke technique, nutritional guidance, swimming education, social catch ups and land training.  These sessions have enabled our swimmers to engage with their coaches and other swimmers, as well as undertaking structured physical exercise at home, helping them maintain their physical and mental health.

The Tokyo challenge

In the coming Easter holidays, between April 2nd and April 16th, the club has organised another physical challenge for our swimmers to help us reach our Crowdfunding target. The challenge is for them to collectively travel the distance to Tokyo, where1615908218_gaw_crowdfunding_tokyo_challenge_flyer.jpg this year's Olympics will be held, which is 5766 miles.  Participants can clock up their miles through walking, running, cycling and swimming (after the pools reopen on April 12th). They can also earn miles through doing 75 press ups, 75 burpees or a 3 minute plank.  All participants will need to set up their own personal Crowdfunding pages, which will link to this main Crowdfunding page, so funds raised from each individual's page all count towards our total. The club treasurer will help participants set up their own pages, once we have launched our main Crowdfunding page.

Reaching out into the local community

There are currently very few opportunities in the Gateshead area for children to learn to swim due to the closure of the Gateshead pools since March 2020.  When the Newcastle pools reopen, we are going to start our own Learn To Swim (LTS) scheme at Elswick pool, to provide an opportunity for young children from the Gateshead area to begin their swimming journey and learn a valuable life skill.    

Once children have completed their swimming lessons, our LTS scheme will also enable us to offer a pathway into competitive swimming for those who have demonstrated an aptitude and interest in continuing their swimming journey. 

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We have included the payment for the first month of the LTS scheme as one of our rewards.  If you wish your child to join our LTS scheme, please email our chairman on [email protected] to book your child's place on the assessment day on April 25th.  After the assessment, you will need to pay for the first month of LTS sessions by selecting the LTS reward on our Crowdfunding page. 

Swimmers stories - Thejes Sundar and Alex Mcgill

Two of our senior swimmers have written about their personal experience of swimming with Gateshead and Whickham ASC, and the positive impact this has had on their lives.  Please follow these links to find out more: 

Thejes Sundar swimmer story

Alex Mcgill swimmer story

Why are we crowdfunding?

Crowdfunder and Sport England have teamed up to make £2.5m of match funding available to help the sport sector through the COVID 19 pandemic crisis, and we applied for match funding through this scheme.   Our Crowdfunding project has been approved, and Sport England will contribute 30% of our target of £16,000, which is £4,800.  

To unlock this pledge from Sport England, we need to initially raise £4,000 ourselves and get to 100 unique supporters.  Sport England’s pledge will then be added to our fundraise.  In order to then lock in this pledge, we then need to carry on and get to our overall £16,000 target otherwise we lose that pledge!  For every pound that we make through donations or people buying our rewards, Sport England will donate an additional 43 pence

Spreading the word

To help us reach our target of £16,000, please share our page with your family and friends via your social media apps and encourage them to support us.  

Making a donation

You can make a donation to the fund at the top of the page by selecting the amount you want to donate and clicking on the donate button. 

You can also make a donation to an individual swimmer who is doing the Tokyo challenge (see above for details), which will count towards our Crowdfunding total. You will need to make your donation on the individual Crowdfunding page set up by the swimmer.

Buying a reward

You can also purchase one or more of the rewards that are shown on the right-hand side of the page. Photographs are now available for many of the rewards, and can be viewed on the Gateshead and Whickham Amateur swimming club website, if you scroll down to the bottom of the home page and click on "catalogue of items images".  Please copy this link into your browser to find our website:

www.gawswim.org.uk

Learn to swim reward - important update

Please don't purchase a reward for the LTS scheme until after the assessment day on 25th April.  To register your interest in the scheme, please email [email protected]

Many rewards have been donated by someone associated with the club, either by offering up their time for free, or by donating an item that someone else may wish to buy at a discounted price.   Lots of other rewards have been donated by local businesses who wish to support the club.

Many of the rewards will be of particular interest to swimmers, but we have also included a lot of rewards which will be of more general interest to parents, family and friends.  If you would like to buy a reward, please click on the relevant “select reward” button. 

Become a fundraiser

Want to raise funds for this cause? It’s simple to get started.

Start fundraising

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£99 or more

2 of 2 claimed

6 wk fitness programme with Spark Health & Fitness

Spark Health & Fitness is a gym in Low Fell, already providing fitness and S&C training for GAW swimmers by Zoom. Spark is offering two places for £99 each (normally £154) on their semi private (small group) 6 week training programme, with 3 one hour weekday sessions each week. Choose your level, from First Steps to Fitness, Get Fitter or Power Project, and your timeslot (6am-9am and 5pm-9pm). Start now by zoom or when COVID restrictions end.

£3 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Boys / mens Maru briefs, 34 inch waist from NESS

Boys / Mens Maru briefs, 34 inch waist, red white and blue stars on a dark blue background. See photo on the GAW website at the bottom of the home page by clicking on "catalogue of item images." Normal RRP of £10, kindly donated by a local business, NESS Swimwear, REDUCED from £5 to £3

£4 or more

2 of 5 claimed

Club mascot crochet animals

We have five team mascot animals, crocheted by one of our swimmer's grand parents, in swimming club colours, 50 cm in height, REDUCED from £6 to £4 each, normal selling price of £15

£6 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Girls Maru swimsuit size 28 from NESS swimwear

Girl's Maru swimsuit size 28, blue, red and purple star shapes on a black background. See photo on the GAW website at the bottom of the home page by clicking on "catalogue of item images". Normal RRP of £20, kindly donated by a local business, Ness Swimwear. REDUCED from £10 to £6

£6 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Girls Maru swimsuit size 32 from NESS swimwear

Girl's Maru swimsuit size 32, multi coloured flowers on an orange background. See photo on the GAW website at the bottom of the home page by clicking on "catalogue of item images." Normal RRP of £20, kindly donated by a local business, NESS Swimwear, REDUCED from £10 to £6

£6 or more

Girls Maru swimsuit size 24 from NESS swimwear

Girl's Maru swimsuit size 24, multi coloured flowers on an orange background. See photo on the GAW website at the bottom of the home page by clicking on "catalogue of item images." Normal RRP of £20, kindly donated by a local business, NESS Swimwear, REDUCED from £10 to £6

£7 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Amanzi boys jammers

Size 28, tropical trees design in mainly blue and some pink, already worn but good condition, normal RRP of £15. Kindly donated by one of our parents who is a squad rep.

£7 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Speedo endurance plus girls swimsuit

2 swimsuits available, both in size 28 for 10 years of age, one in medium blue, the other in pink, both already worn but good condition, normal RRP of £14. Kindly donated by one of our parents who is a squad rep.

£8 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Girls Finals swimsuit size 28 from NESS swimwear

Girl's Finals Funnies swimsuit size 28, Heart me foil, flutterback girls swimsuit, blue heart shapes on a purple background. See photo on the GAW website at the bottom of the home page by clicking on "catalogue of item images." Normal RRP of £29, kindly donated by a local business, NESS Swimwear, REDUCED from £14 to £8

£8 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Girls Funkita swimsuit size 10 from NESS swimwear

Girl's Funkita Pretty Fly swimsuit size 10, blue, red butterflies on a tropical leaves background. See photo on the GAW website at the bottom of the home page by clicking on "catalogue of item images." Normal RRP of £29.99, kindly donated by a local business, NESS Swimwear, REDUCED from £14 to £8

£10 or more

3 of 48 claimed

Introduction to water polo

A one-hour water polo coaching session will be offered to all eight junior squads, so swimmers can find out about the game and learn some water polo skills. Each session is for up to six swimmers, taking place place in the two small pools at Elswick between 1730 and 1830 on Sundays. They will be delivered by our head coach and our club treasurer (ex water polo player). The sessions will start once water polo COVID restrictions have been lifted.

£10 or more

19 of 80 claimed

Family fun day

The club will hold an open air fun day in the summer for all swimmers and parents to participate in, which will involve multiple fun activities, for which the club is charging an entry fee of £10 per family. This event will take place once the COVID restrictions have been sufficiently relaxed to allow an outdoor gathering of up to 80 families. The fun day will be organised and ran by a committee sub group. Book your place by buying this reward.

£10 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Fly red sandals

Red leather, open toe sandals made by Fly with high ankle strap, size 37 cost £50, never used. FURTHER REDUCED from £20 to £10. Kindly donated by a relative of one of our committee members.

£10 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Labradorite ring with silver band

Labradorite triangular stone, with a sterling silver band, size L/M, cost £25, REDUCED from £15 to £10. Kindly donated by a relative of one of our committee members.

£10 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Funky trunks boys jammers

Size 22, paint splash design in pink, yellow, orange and blue, already worn but good condition, normal RRP of £20. Kindly donated by one of our parents who is a squad rep.

£10 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Funkita girls swimsuit

Size 8, in light green, yellow and black triangle design, already worn but good condition, normal RRP of £20. Kindly donated by one of our parents who is a squad rep.

£10 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Adults cycling shorts and crop top

Decote lounge wear - adult crop and cycling shorts set RRP £38, available in adult sizes between xs ( 6) and xl ( 14-16). FURTHER REDUCED from £20 to £10. Kindly donated by a local business, Decote Lounge Wear.

£12 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Two pairs of silver earrings

Four different studs in sterling silver. Earring shapes are circle, open circle, triangle and bar. REDUCED from £20 to £12. Kindly donated by a relative of one of our committee members.

£15 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Depeche large black leather handbag

Large, black leather, Depeche handbag with several pockets and detachable long strap, rarely used, cost £75. REDUCED from £25 to £15. Kindly donated by a relative of one of our committee members.

£25 or more

39 of 48 claimed

GAW dolphins Learn To Swim (LTS) at Elswick pool

The GAW Learn To Swim programme will be on Sundays from 1500 to 1700 at Elswick. Four half hour lessons will take place in the shallow pool for two of the groups and the other four groups will have lessons in the deep pool and in one lane of the main pool. Six places are available for each group. We will assess swimmers on April 25th to allocate them to the groups, after which the first month's fee needs be paid as a donation to Crowdfunding.

£30 or more

10 of 12 claimed

1 to 3 junior coaching sessions with Ross Bradley

Each session will be for a small group of up to three junior swimmers, who will together receive two x 1 hour coaching sessions from Ross. There will be four stroke specific group sessions, covering butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Swimmers will receive individual stroke analysis and feedback on how to improve their stroke.

£3 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Pool passes for public swimming at Elswick pool

Ten pool passes are available for public swimming sessions at Elswick pool. These can be purchased individually at £3 each, compared to the normal price of £4. The reward will be available once restrictions are lifted, which is currently expected to be on April 12th. Kindly donated by a local business, Elswick Community pool.

£3 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Boys Speedo Star Wars swimshorts 8 years from NESS

Boys Speedo Star Wars swimshorts 8 years / size 28 white Darth Vader Star Wars design on black background. See photo on the GAW website at the bottom of the home page by clicking on "catalogue of item images". Normal RRP of £10, kindly donated by a local business, NESS Swimwear, REDUCED from £5 to £3

£4 or more

3 of 3 claimed

Family selection number 1 of 3 Easter eggs

Each family selection contains 3 Easter eggs comprising a Kit Kat chunky large (260g), a Cadbury's mini egg small and a Maltesers small, total recommended retail price for all three eggs of £5. Kindly donated by one of our swimmer's parents

£4 or more

3 of 3 claimed

Family selection number 2 of 3 Easter eggs

Each family selection contains 3 easter eggs, comprising a Cadbury's creme egg large (233g), a smarties small and a milky bar small, total recommended retail price for all three eggs of £5. Kindly donated by one of our swimmer's parents

£5 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Family pool passes at Elswick pool

10 family pool passes to use Elswick pool during public sessions for up to four people. Family groups can comprise two adults and two children or 1 adult and three children. Normal price for a family pool pass is £10. Kindly donated by a local business, Elswick Community pool.

£5 or more

1 of 1 claimed

1 kg jar of Relish hot chocolate powder

1kg jar of Relish Hot Chocolate Powder, normal price of £9, Kindly donated by a local business, Relish Coffee Company

£5 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£15 voucher to spend at Popolo Ceramico

£15 voucher to spend at Popolo Ceramico, who specialise in capturing baby's and children's hands and footprints in paint, clay and plaster. They also offer paw prints and have a range of personalised gifts on their website. They also offer paint your own pottery which is currently click and collect. Their web site is https://www.popoloceramico.co.uk/. REDUCED from £8 to £5

£6 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Four boxes of six large cup cakes

4 boxes of six large cup cakes, which are available in vanilla, chocolate and lemon flavours with butter cream and decoration. You can choose the flavour and decoration so you can mix and match. Normal price of £8. Kindly donated by a local business, Cupcakes and Dreams, on Facebook and Instagram Cupcakes_and_dreams_

£10 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Childs cycling shorts and crop top

Decote lounge wear - child crop top and cycling shorts set RRP £32, available in any child size from age 5-6 to 12-13. FURTHER REDUCED from £15 to £10. Kindly donated by a local business, Decote Lounge Wear.

£10 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Coffee cafetiere and Relish home blend coffee

Medium Cafetiere plus 250g Relish Home Blend Coffee RRP £12.50 and £5.95. Kindly donated by a local business, Relish Coffee Company on Marine Parade, Whitley Bay

£10 or more

1 of 1 claimed

House of Scent Gift box

House of Scent gift box which includes Scent N Vac (carpet freshner ), 2 Sizzlers (wax alternative ), 1 Soy Wax Melt, Soap filled Sponge, Chiil Pill (mini bath bomb ), Room spray. Scent is inspired by YSL Black Opium. Normal selling price is £20. Kindly donated by local business House of Scent by A&J

£12 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Black leather bum bag

Black leather bum bag from Marks and Spencers, cost £35, REDUCED from £20 to £12, not used. Kindly donated by a relative of one of our committee members.

£12 or more

1 of 1 claimed

10 coffees at Relish Coffee, Whitley Bay

Coffee card to buy ten coffees at Relish Coffee, Marine Parade, Whitley Bay. Normal price of £25. Kindly donated by a local business, Relish Coffee Company

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Bottle of Haig whisky

Haig whisky 1 litre, recommended retail price £35. Kindly donated by one of our parents who is a committee member.

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Malt whisky

12 year old Bowmore malt whiskey 70cl, recommended retail price of £40. Kindly donated by one of our parents who is a committee member.

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Pair of silver earrings

Circular, patterned studs in hallmarked silver. Kindly donated by a relative of one of our committee members.

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Half set of second hand Donnay golf clubs

2 Donnay metal woods - driver and 3 wood; 4 Donnay irons - 5, 7, 9 and pitching wedge, plus a Dunlop 3 iron; 1 Donnay putter Pin bag Kindly donated by one of our committee members.

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Initial consultation at Newcastle Physiotherapy

This reward is a 45 minute initial consultation with an experienced, fully qualified physio at Newcastle Physiotherapy, including a full investigation of your physical problem, followed by initial treatment and a recommendation for further treatment and exercises if required. The normal price is £60. The practise specialises in swimming injury prevention and performance enhancement screening. Kindly donated by a local business in Gosforth.

£40 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Silver necklace with rose shaped pendant

Necklace with a medium thickness chain and a large rose shaped pendant in sterling silver. Kindly donated by a relative of one of our committee members.

£80 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Four ball golf voucher at Ramside Hall golf course

Four ball golf voucher at Ramside Hall golf course. Normal price for a four ball in the summer is £200. Kindly donated by a local business, HQBS Energy.

£100 or more

5 of 5 claimed

121 swim coaching with head coach Paul Armstrong

121 coaching sessions will be available for five swimmers. Each person will have two 1 hour sessions with Paul. The coaching will include agreeing pre-session goals, session 1 stroke assessment and video analysis, Session 2 progression and improvement, written (email) feedback on stroke improvement.

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