SWIMMING: New kit will help club’s young stars work on their technique

St Ives Swimming Club celebrate the £250 donation. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

St Ives Swimming Club celebrate the £250 donation. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Youngsters at St Ives Swimming Club can splash out on new kit and equipment following a donation from UK Power Networks.

The company, which delivers electricity to eight million customers across the East of England, London and the South East, has given the club a £250 grant as part of its Team Sport Award programme.

It donated the money through employee Mark Edwards whose children Barney, 13, and Ruby, 8, are both members of the St Ives club, while his wife, Sarah, is on the club’s committee.

Mark, who lives in Fenstanton, had previously applied for the award on behalf of St Ives badminton club, where he is the chairman, but wanted to pool the company’s resources towards swimming this time. The donation will be used to purchase new swimming aids, such as fins.

Mark, who works for the power firm’s connections team, said: “My son Barney swims competitively, but my daughter Ruby is pretty competitive with him. They both really enjoy the sport and are progressing well.

“Training is three times a week which can mean some early starts, but the whole family is committed to it with my wife volunteering to do timekeeping and judging at events. My main role is as supporter, but I’m pleased to have contributed by applying for this funding.

“Swimming aids are vital for youngsters as they develop and enhance their speed and technique in the water so the money will help ensure enough kit is available to youngsters without their families having to invest in it themselves.”

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Liz Taylor, chairperson of St Ives swimming club, said: “The award is greatly appreciated and will be used to help replace some of our swimming aids, which are well used and ready to be replaced. We have many fins where it is hard to find a matching pair. “Through this kind support, the new swimming aids will help our younger swimmers develop their technique without parents having to pay for kit at an early stage in their development.”

The Team Sport Award scheme is designed to encourage 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 £15,750 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff.