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Richmond Dales Rallies to Support Young Ukrainian Swimmers

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- News

The Richmond Dales Amateur Swimming Club community has rallied together to support two young Ukrainian swimmers and their family to build a new life in the UK.

Along with their mother Irina, Tymofii and Tkyhon are due to arrive in the UK within days. Upon their arrival, they will be welcomed into their new home by a Richmond Dales ASC swim parent as part of the UK’s Ukrainian re-settlement scheme. Once settled, coaches at the Richmond and Catterick based club will waiting in the wings to introduce the two committed young swimmers, who formerly swam for a Kyiv based club, to their new teammates and training programme.

Like their fellow Ukrainians, the boys and their mother have endured huge upheaval in recent weeks and months. Their arrival in the UK precedes them fleeing their home in Ukraine to Bulgaria, where, for a short period the boys were able to enjoy some semblance of normality thanks to the generosity of the Bulgarian Swimming Federation, which gave access to training sessions and other support.

When the team at Richmond Dales ASC, based in Richmond and Catterick pools and serving a broad geographic area, learnt that one of their members was involved in providing a home for the family, the club’s Board and coaches sprang into action.

The Board quickly pledged to waive membership fees for both swimmers, allowing them to train and continue their swimming careers. Along with Swim England, which has also agreed to waive the boys’ annual membership fees, the club is also raising money via a Go Fund Me page to pay for the family’s flight into the UK from Bulgaria. In addition, friends of the club, including NESS Swimwear, are rallying round to supply the boys with everything they will need to train effectively, including goggles, fins, kick-boards, snorkels, kit bags and anything else they may need.

Keith Hall, Coach at Richmond Dales ASC said:

“The whole club community has been touched by the crisis taking place in Ukraine. At the outset of the war, club members raised £1900 in under 24 hours and used the money to buy essential supplies. We then drove the supplies across Europe and into Poland as part of the Catterick and Colburn community effort, headed by Councillor Angie Dale.

Keith goes on:

As soon as we heard that a club member was taking a refugee family into their home we knew we wanted to help, and the fact that the boys are keen swimmers made us able to do this more easily.  As ever, the whole club has come together along with some very generous friends like NESS Swimwear and Swim England. We hope that enabling the boys to join our supportive club will help them settle into their new environment and transition into UK life.”

The Go Fund Me page that has been set up to raise money to cover the costs of the family’s flights into the UK can be found at:

Fundraiser by Emma Griffin : Ukranian swimming family to travel to UK (gofundme.com)

Any funds that are raised over and above the modest £500 target will be channelled towards funding the boys’ continuing development at the club including travel costs and competition entry fees.