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Richmond Fire Engineers Ltd generously donate £5000 to support our club

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Richmond Dales Amateur Swimming Club (RDASC) is set to benefit thanks to a very generous £5000 donation from a local business.

Richmond Fire Engineers Ltd, a highly respected fire protection firm based in the North Yorkshire market town, has made the donation in recognition of the Club’s work to support local people to get the best out of their swimming journey.

Richmond Dales ASC has dedicated provision for children and young people of all abilities, as well as an excellent Masters squad and a highly regarded Para team. The club serves a very broad geographic area and runs several supplemental schemes to encourage people of all ages and stages into the sport.

Indeed, it was via one of these initiatives that Chris Ryde, joint Managing Director at Richmond Fire Engineers, was first introduced to the Club when his then eight-year-old daughter, Amber, signed up for a taster course as part of the ‘Aspire to Swim’ programme back in 2017. Once the 10-week scheme ended, Amber was hooked, and five years later, she remains with RDASC as one of the club’s fantastic young swimmers.

Chris & his business partner Lee Smith first approached RDASC about making a donation just prior to the pandemic. Impressed by the club’s work both in the pool and across the wider community, Chris & Lee initially pledged £2500 to support the club’s ongoing financial viability. As the pandemic hit, and with the huge loss of income RDASC faced, this donation turned out to be incredibly important.

As the club continues to recover from the impact of Covid-19, Chris & Lee recently pledged a further £2500 in celebration of his business’ 30th birthday. This money will support the development of a new website which will offer a wider range of functionality for existing members and will also act as a ‘shop front’ to help attract an even wider membership base. This latter point is particularly important for RDASC, because along with fundraising, membership is its only source of income. The club manages to ‘punch above its weight,’ and make so much happen thanks to its very committed coaches and an army of unpaid volunteers. Donations of this nature are, therefore, hugely valuable.

Because of Covid restrictions, Chris was only able to present the Club with the combined donation of £5000 very recently. When on poolside presenting the Club’s Head Coach with the donation, Chris commented:

“Everyone who knows me knows that I am proud to call myself Richmond born and bred. It’s a town I love, and I really believe that RDASC represents the best that the district has to offer It’s fantastic to be able to be back at the pool and to see how much the swimmers have progressed. I’m very happy that our initial donation of £2500 helped the club get through those dark months during Covid when everything ground to a halt. I’m also delighted that the subsequent donation of a further £2500 will support RDASC to future-proof it’s website, helping to provide existing members with the quality information they need, whilst reaching new potential members with news of all the club’s inspiring work..”

RDACS Head Coach, Gordon Rea, said of the donation:

“We are incredibly thankful to Chris, Lee and their business, Richmond Fire Engineers Ltd, for their continued championing of the club. It’s clear that Chris takes a great deal of pride in his association with RDASC as we support his daughter through her swimming journey. However, I also know that he appreciates the wider work we do within our fantastic Para and Masters squads, and within the wider community also.”

RDACS Chair, Steve Jones, added:

“Huge thanks to Chris, Lee and all the team at Richmond Fire Engineers Ltd. In a small community like Richmond, it’s great to see so many people collaborating to make great things happen. The money that we have received here will help us support our members and introduce even more people to swimming from across the community.”