Who we are?
We are a Bedford-based community swimming club for 3 - 19 year olds, run by volunteers as a Not for Profit organisation. All surplus from our learn to swim lessons (circa 300 regular attendees pre Covid) is reinvested back into the club and helps to subsidise the training programme that so many local swim athletes benefit from (currently 90 members). This enables the club to be open to all members of the community and use a reserve fund to enable children from financially disadvantaged backgrounds to not only learn to swim, but also to train and compete in swimming meets and championships.
Modernian Swimming Club was established in 1965 by Charlie Wilson, his daughter still teaches swimming with us and his grandchildren are part of our competitive squad. After leaving Modernian SC Charlie went on to coach at national level. He is one of the most famous names in British swimming history. So much so that he was included in the recently formed Swim England Hall of Fame here and sits alongside all the British swimming greats.
Brian Brinkley - coached by Charlie Wilson and qualifying for 2 Olympic games in multiple events, Brian was an Olympic finalist in 200m butterfly as well as winning an Olympic bronze medal as part of a relay team. Brian won numerous medals at World, European, and was a multiple Commonwealth Games medallist including a gold medal in 200m Butterfly.
We are all about swimming, from grassroots lessons that have taught thousands of children from across Bedfordshire to swim over the years, up to competitive squad with swimmers competing at national level. Our competitive squads usually train up to 15 hours a week. We want to provide enough pool time for all squad members to train as much as they did pre-Covid. We know post-Covid this will be different and there will be additional pool costs on our return to the water to accommodate social distancing measures.
The Importance of MSC in Bedford
A video from Ian Douglas on the importance of swimming here in Bedford. Ian, known to many, is an amazing supporter of MSC.
Ian kindly sent us many pictures - who can you spot in the photos below? If MSC helped you a few years ago could you spare us £5 to help the current generation of squad swimmers?
Where we were before Covid
Prior to lockdown the Club had plans to further promote the Learn to Swim programme, enabling more children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, or those with financially challenging situations, to attend swimming lessons for free and to increase the access to our reduced cost crash courses during school holidays.
Swimming offers much more than just a life saving skill, it provides an enormous boost to mental health and wellbeing and equips participants with confidence and other important attributes such as perseverance, hard work and commitment. For some children it can be one area of their life they are successful in if school can be a challenge.
During lockdown some of our swimmers tried their hand at open water swimming, enabling them to swim before pools reopened, and the club also continued with land training over live stream video to keep club members motivated and connected. Now they need and deserve to be back in the pool together.
Why we are raising funds?
Due to the national lockdown and swimming pool closure, we have been unable to swim or run lessons since mid-March. The past few months have been very challenging for all of our squad swimmers, who have been unable to participate in the sport they love, and are eager to return to the normality of regular training.
During this time we made the decision to reduce squad fees to a minimum, given we couldn't offer full training and to help parents who were also facing the financial consequences of Covid; not all local clubs made this choice, but we felt it was the right thing to do. We are also looking to support any family suffering financial hardship due to Covid by offering reduced or waived fees (this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with the ultimate discretion on the level of assistance provided resting with the club committee), to ensure that all of our swimmers are still able to train, enjoy and compete in the sport they love. However, we will need to raise funds to do this.
We believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn to swim. Bedford itself has both a river and a country park marina, so it may just be vital one day! Donating to our campaign would also enable support to be given to families, suffering the financial impact of Covid, who are wishing to use our Learn to Swim programme (individual assistance will again be provided at the discretion of the club committee).
We are currently facing a deficit of £25k, largely due to the loss of income we previously relied upon from lessons. Looking forward we need to plug this gap.
What will the money be used for?
Pool time is expensive, so we need to raise funds to ensure we can provide adequate pool time and quality coaching for our squad. It will take us a while to get our lessons programme fully back up and running with pre-lockdown levels of attendance. We aim to provide the same level of squad training as pre-lockdown, and to build the resilience of the club so it can continue to support young people well into the future. We know all our swimmers are keen to compete again, once Swim England guidelines allow, and we want to be in a position to prepare our swimmers by providing them with every opportunity to develop their skills and maximise their potential.
Please help our swimmers have the pool time they need to train hard and enjoy competing again at the highest level of Local, County, Regional and National Championships.
How Crowd Funding works? We have set a target of £20,000 to be raised over 6 weeks. So please share our page far and wide on all your social media - we need our 'crowd' to be huge. Even the smallest of donation is very much welcomed. Here's the best bit: we have applied to Sport England who have linked with Crowdfunder. Sport England will contribute 50% of our target as long as we reach our target. So we need to raise £10,000 and Sport England will match that with another £10,000. Please pledge now. The more money we raise, the more training we can offer. We are a valued part of Bedfordshire's sporting community and hope that you can contribute towards our fundraising efforts.
Fabulous Juniors : our stars of the future
The senior squad 2020
A few final words from our dedicated and inspirational headcoach............
Everyone donating £10+ can elect a reward of 2 x entries (per £10 donation) into the Grand Prize Draw.
- Nintendo Switch Lite
- Apple Airpods
- Google Nest Mini Hands Free Smart Speaker
- Kindle Fire
- Kneeboarding and Wakeboarding @ Box End (2 people)
- Aquapark tickets @ Box End (4 people)
Terms and conditions
- The prize draws will take place and be drawn at random by Jayne Ward, Club Chairman, on the 10th October 2020.
- There are no cash equivalents for any of the prizes.
MSC Covid Raffle
Alternatively, or in addition, £5 donations or more can also enter the MSC Covid-19 Virtual Raffle. Over 50% of the funds taken in the raffle will be distributed in prizes. There are no limits on the number of entries per person, so the more you donate the greater the chance you have to win big!
Lots of other great rewards are available - please select your preferred choice when donating!
Thank you in advance for your support!