A swimming club in Leeds has received vital funding from the Swimathon Foundation. 

Bramley Mermaids Club applied for the grant as part of Swimathon Foundation’s Covid-19 Relief Fund, announced last month, to mitigate loss of income whilst pools are closed and sessions are unable to take place.

The Yorkshire-based group have been running creative exercise and swimming sessions at Bramley Baths for the last six years, primarily designed for women of all ages and abilities. Their club ethos centres around body positivity and health through fun exercises, such as synchro techniques with aquatic dance. 

The women in the group range in age from 12 to 66 years old – many of whom find traditional exercise unappealing.

Since March they have had to cancel their weekly sessions and courses which run during the school holidays. The impact of coronavirus has had a negative impact on both the club and the pool facilities and the Swimathon Foundations’ grant will go towards covering loss of income during this period. 

 Lucy Meredith from the Yorkshire Life Aquatic said:

“The funding is particularly to support a community project that we run jointly with Bramley Baths. It’s essential for us to support the baths through this time where pools are forced to be shut. We have been running synchronised swimming courses there with children and adult classes that we run weekly at the baths and its enabled us to help the baths keep going at this really difficult time, as we wouldn’t exist without them. Because it is a community class it is the perfect environment and it isn’t a class we could take to any council pool.

 “During lockdown we’ve been running Zoom workshops for techniques for being in the pool in advanced of getting back in the water. Just so that the momentum is still there for when we do get back into the pool. It is essential to do that as we have been running it for five years and it is growing, and everyone is getting more confident with it. We are just making sure we keep it going by supporting the baths and they are supporting us as well.

“The funding has enabled us to keep going even though that we’ve got this gap.”