Where the money goes

  • Swimathon started in 1986 and since then more than 750,000 swimmers have taken part, raising over £50 million for charity.
  • Swimmers taking part in the Swimathon have raised funds for a variety of selected major UK charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, NSPCC, The British Heart Foundation, The Prince’s Trust, Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK.
  • The Swimathon Foundation is the company limited by guarantee and independent  registered charity (registered number 1123870) which owns the Swimathon, Open Water Swimathon, School Swimathon and Marathon Swims events. 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 wishing to become a Charity Partner to Swimathon and Open Water Swimathon are invited to bid for selection through a competitive selection process and the choice of Charity Partner or Partners is at the discretion of the 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 2021.
    • The Charities selected to benefit from an association 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 the Swimathon Foundation. The current Charity Beneficiaries receive at least 70% of the charitable funds raised with the balance being received by the Swimathon Foundation and held for the purposes of sustaining opportunities for the general public to swim and enjoy the benefits of swimming through the staging of Swimathon events and activities (including the School Swimathon, which is funded directly from the Foundation’s own resources) and for operating and funding the Foundation’s own grant schemes.


    • The Foundation has delegated the organisation, operation, management and promotion of Marathon Swims to its appointed delivery partner Participation Sport Ltd. This event is scheduled to take place, for the first time as a member of the Swimathon family of events, in November 2020. For more information see here.