A swimming club in Bedford is set to benefit from vital funding from the Swimathon Foundation.

Modernian Swimming 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.

The Bedfordshire-based club was formed in 1965 and is a not-for-profit competitive community-based club for swimmers aged 8+. The club develops swimmers through the competitive rankings and has members competing at County, Regional and National level. As well as supporting their competitive squads, the club also provide swimming lessons for the community, with 290 local swimmers on the programme.

The club work closely within the community and offer a number of hardship grants for those with financially challenging situations to learn to swim at no cost.

Without additional funding, the club were having to consider using these hardship grants to keep the club afloat.

Paula Barker from Modernian Swimming Club said:

“The funding is huge for us as we are quite a small club as clubs go. We have about 100 competitive swimmers and provide lessons for about 300 children a week as well. All of our income has gone since the end of march and like a lot of clubs we don’t have our own pool so we really need that income from the lessons to subsidise the competitive side of the squad.

“Of course we still have some of the fixed costs going out, costs like carrying on with insurance, DBS checks for some of the teachers even though they aren’t in the pool, some of the online training courses. As well as paying our coach because he doesn’t qualify for any of the government schemes at the moment as he came back to the country from Canada in November so he didn’t qualify as an employee or self-employed because he hasn’t got the tax returns from the previous years.

“It means we can keep things ticking over until we are allowed back in the water which for us we don’t know will be before September because three of the pools we use are all school pools.”