The Swimathon Foundation FAQ

What is the Swimathon Foundation?

The Swimathon Foundation is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. It is the ultimate owner and custodian of the annual Swimathon, Open Water Swimathon and School Swimathon events. Through the staging of these events, the Foundation encourages and allows members of the public - in their tens of thousands each year - to take part in swimming and to raise funds for charity.

The main annual Swimathon is now the world's largest pool based fund-raising swim, bringing together swimmers of all ages and abilities and spreading the joys and benefits of swimming whilst raising vital funds for some of the UK's most deserving charities.

All this is supported by the Swimathon Foundation's own Community Grants Scheme, operated in conjunction with Swim England, through which the Swimathon Foundation awards grants to local organisations whose projects help to promote swimming in local communities.

Who runs the Swimathon Foundation?

The Swimathon Foundation is run by Trustees with a passion for swimming and with backgrounds in community initiatives and recreation programmes. The trustees are Chairman: Anthony Kendall OBEDonna NotaroDeana RadiceRalph RileyGrant Pearce and Philip Stinson

How is the Swimathon Foundation funded?

The majority of the funds raised by Swimathon and Open Water Swimathon participants and members of the public (at least 70%) go to the chosen principal charity beneficiaries. The remaining percentage is used by the Swimathon Foundation to fund its own operating and administrative costs in keeping its events and activities available to the general public to participate in and enjoy the benefits of swimming and in funding its community grants and other funding schemes.

How do charities become a principle beneficiary charity of Swimathon?

The selection process is by invitation only and the choice of charity is the decision of the Swimathon Foundation Trustees. The current charity beneficiaries are currently contracted to remain as beneficiaries until the 2021 event.

What is the Swimathon Foundation’s charity number?

The Swimathon Foundation is a charity registered at the Charities Commission, no.1123870.

What is the Swimathon Community Grants Scheme?

Applications are invited for innovative and sustainable projects which will help more people participate in and enjoy swimming and to make swimming more accessible.  Please note that applications for 2020 are now closed.

The essentials to apply for a Swimathon Foundation Community grant are below:

  • Have an innovative project idea so that it targets a group of swimmers that are not already regularly participating.
  • Be able to have your project take place at a Swimathon pool or Open Water Swimathon venue and have sign off from the Pool or Venue Manager or their delegated main contact for this project to take place.
  • Have a plan to make sure that your project is sustainable
  • Have an end date for your project no later than 12 months following receipt of your first funding payment
  • Applicants must be over 18 years of age and a resident in the United Kingdom
  • You cannot have received a Swimathon Community Grant in the past twelve months.
  • If you don’t find an answer in these FAQs, then please contact us on and we will aim to provide you with an answer within three working days.

What are the Swimathon Community Grants Scheme grant application dates?

Applications for 2020 are now closed.

What are the criteria for the Swimathon Community Grants Scheme?

You can find the criteria here.

What are some examples of groups that the Swimathon Foundation Community Grants will support?

Examples of groups that Swimathon Foundation Community Grants will support are (but not limited to):

  • Community groups
  • Swimming clubs
  • Senior groups
  • Youth groups
  • Sports clubs
  • Disability charities
  • Healthy living groups

How do I make an application for a Swimathon Community Grant?

Applications for Swimathon Community Grants are now closed for 2020.

How will I know I have been successful or unsuccessful?

Applicants will be notified after The Swimathon Foundation Community Grants panel meeting. If you have submitted an application, you should be notified of the success of your application by 1st May.

Please note that no correspondence will be entered into regarding the success or failure of an application.

What is the Swimathon Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund?

The Swimathon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund was launched in May 2020 to support small swimming and aquatic organisations that have suffered or are facing a material financial impact due to the coronavirus pandemic and which may not have access to financial support. The application period for grant funding ended on Friday 22 May 2020. 

What are the Swimathon Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund application dates?

  • The Swimathon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund launch: Monday 04 May
  • Application period: Monday 04 May – Friday 22 May at 5pm
  • The Swimathon Foundation funding review panel: Monday 25 May – Friday 29 May
  • Applicants notified by: Friday 5 June at 5pm
  • All invoice to be submitted by successful applicants: Friday 12 June at 5pm

Questions on the the Swimathon Foundation's COVID-19 Relief Fund?

If you have any queries and you can't find the answer in the Frequently Asked Questions, then please contact us on and we will endeavour to provide you with an answer within two working days.