Cash boost for swimming club’s team of young stars

St Ives swimming youngsters are celebrating receiving a Team Sports Award donation from UK Power Net

St Ives swimming youngsters are celebrating receiving a Team Sports Award donation from UK Power Networks - Credit: Archant

Members of St Ives Swimming Club were able to sample the fun and excitement of a club championship after securing funding from UK Power Networks.

The power company, which delivers electricity to 8.3million customers across the East of England, London and the South East, handed the swimming club a £250 grant as part of its Team Sport Award scheme.

Employee Mark Edwards applied for the award for the swimming club who used the funding to pay pool hire charges. The funding allowed the full programme of club championships to be secured as, without the sponsorship, the programme was at risk.

The championships allowed the most junior members of the club a chance to race competitively and get used to the atmosphere of a meet as well as being open to older children.

Mark's two children, Barney, 14, and Ruby, 9, swim for the club and his wife, Sarah, is also involved with the committee of the club.

Mark, who lives in Fenstanton and helps manage new connections to the network, said: "The money was used to sponsor the pool time for the recent club champs and UK Power Networks were the event's sponsor.

"My children have really benefitted from the club and the competition it promotes. It is the first sport my son has taken to and has been competitive with others. It has boosted his self-confidence and widened his circle of friends.

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"This club championships has allowed the competition to open up to younger children and my daughter who was desperate to compete now has recognised times and won a silver medal for her age group.

"This £250 has helped expand the number of competitive meets the club can hold and should help to make the team more competitive at open events."

Liz Taylor, chairman of St Ives swimming club, said: "We wish to thank UK Power Networks for this funding which really helped with the pool hire costs for the club champs."

The Team Sport Award scheme encourages staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year £18,000 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff.