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About Swimathon Foundation

Swimathon Foundation is a registered charity, and owns the annual national Swimathon, Open Water Swimathon, School Swimathon and Marathon Swims campaigns. Through the staging of these campaigns, the Foundation encourages members of the public – in their tens of thousands each year – to take part in swimming and to raise vital funds for charity. Its current charity partners are Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK.

Since its inception, Swimathon has helped raise more than £55 million for a variety of nominated charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, NSPCC, The British Heart Foundation, The Prince’s Trust, Comic Relief, Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK. Governed by a Board of Trustees with a passion for swimming, the Foundation aims not only to support its charity beneficiaries, but also to provide opportunities for as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits swimming brings.

The Swimathon Community Grants Scheme

The Foundation works in partnership with Swim England to provide funding for community swimming programmes, bringing much needed financial support to swimming programmes across the UK. Despite the difficulties the swimming industry has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Swimathon Foundation’s determination to support worthy aquatics causes across the country remains a key pillar of their work and the Grants Scheme is set to return in 2022. 


The Swimathon Foundation Community Grants Scheme offers funding to groups and individuals who provide and promote swimming in their local community. The Foundation is passionate about encouraging people to get involved with swimming, which it hopes to encourage even further with Community Grants. Grants vary from £500 to £2,500 and will only be awarded to organisations supported by pools that are participating in Swimathon and Open Water Swimathon.

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The Important Legal Bit

Swimathon Foundation owns Swimathon, Open Water Swimathon, School Swimathon and Marathon Swims events. Swimathon Foundation is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity (registered number 1123870). The Foundation, through its wholly owned trading company Swimathon (Trading) Limited, has delegated the organisation, operation, management and promotion of these events to its appointed delivery partners, LimeLight Sports Ltd and Participation Sport Ltd.

The Charities associated with Swimathon and Open Water Swimathon contribute to the costs of these events through the payment of a rights fee and this fee, together with event entry fees and a cost contribution from Swimathon Foundation, meets the cost of running Swimathon and Open Water Swimathon. The charitable funds raised are held and distributed separately in agreed proportions to the major benefitting charity (or charities) and to Swimathon Foundation. Any funds received by Swimathon Foundation are held for the purposes of sustaining the Swimathon event and running the Foundation’s own grants scheme. 

The Charities benefitting from an association with Swimathon and Open Water Swimathon are invited to bid for selection through a competitive selection process and the choice of Charity or Charities is at the discretion of Swimathon Foundation Trustees. The current Charity beneficiaries are Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie who will be the official charity partners of Swimathon and Open Water Swimathon until 2023.

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