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Swimming, Diving, Artistic Swimming , Water Polo, Education
National, Performance

It has been a really tough time for grassroots sport clubs. And swimming has had its own set of problems with pools closed for months.

But thanks to the commitment and kindness of our sport volunteers, you are all making Welsh sport very proud. This week, as part of the National Lottery’s Dedicated To…campaign, we are highlighting a club who have gone to great lengths to help its swimmers.

Ruthin Swimming Club - which has recently been awarded a National Lottery grant to help it restart activities – was quick to switch to online training as soon as lockdown hit. And now it is heading to open water to solve the problem of reduced pool time.

Swimmers were put through their paces in land training sessions while they also had the chance to learn how to become better athletes through a series of motivational videos. Head coach Andrea Harvey was determined to do all she could during lockdown and so taught the swimmers about mindfulness, nutrition, hydration, sleep and sleep deprivation:

“We even cooked together online a few times so that the swimmers learnt about healthy eating. We made chicken tacos and spicy pork,” explains Andrea. “We also set ourselves a Strava challenge to walk, run or cycle the distance from Ruthin to the Olympic pool in Tokyo by the date the first swim race should have taken place.”

Now she is going one step further. The Ruthin Rays are accessing just half of the pool time it was receiving before lockdown because of Covid capacity issues inside facilities. So Andrea is looking to Bala lake for the solution:

“We were awarded £1900 by the National Lottery and the Sport Wales Be Active Wales Fund which means I have been able to achieve my open water coaching qualifications. We also bought safety equipment – such as floats, buoys and a radio set - so that we can undertake open water training at Bala lake.”

“Thank you to all National Lottery players because the money from good causes is spent in communities right across Wales and hugely benefits all our children and grandchildren. There is uncertainty around pools being able to stay open so this means we can continue training.”

With the help of National Lottery funding, thousands of grassroots sports workers and volunteers from local clubs and organisations across the UK, have been be able to continue to help the nation to remain active, happy and motivated during the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, many of which are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.