Richmond Dales Amateur Swimming Club has attracted a generous £750 donation from the Lance Corporal Ben Hyde Memorial Trust.
The donation came after the Trustees of the Memorial Trust were made aware of the good work conducted by the Richmond and Catterick based club. The trustees were particularly taken with the Club’s achievement at county, regional and nation level, as well as their work in the para-swimming field. They were also impressed by their wider community work, including their support of two Ukrainian club members who were displaced from their home country in the ongoing conflict.
The Trust, founded in March 2005, was set up in memory of Lance Corporal Ben Hyde, one of six Royal Military Policemen killed on 24th June 2003 in Southern Iraq following a fire-fight at a Police Station in the town of Al Majarr Al Kabir. Ben, who was born and lived in Northallerton, was the only child of John and Sandra Hyde, who since his tragic death, have worked tirelessly to create a legacy their son would be proud of. The Lance Corporal Ben Hyde Memorial Trust makes grants to individuals and organisations, particularly those with a focus on amateur sport and education.
Since its inception, John, Sandra and the other Trustees have raised over £200,000 for the benefit many organisations, including The Royal Military Police Central Benevolent Fund, The Friarage Hospital, The Scouts, several junior football teams and many schools. The Trust has also sponsored several amateur athletes, one of whom, Laurence Whitley, was a member of Team GB in the Adaptive Rowing for the Rio Paralympics, winning a gold medal. With support from the Trust, Laurence and his partner Robina defended their title by winning gold again in Tokyo.
Richmond Dales ACS counts itself fortunate to be amongst those to which the Trust has donated, having ambitious plans to build on their success following being named as Swim England’s Swimming Club of the Year, a hotly contested and hugely prestigious award. The club won the national award thanks to its commitment to the communities it serves and its dedication to diversity and inclusion. These same values are what impressed John and Sandra Hyde as they considered their donation. John Hyde said of his donation:
“We are delighted to support Richmond Dales Amateur Swimming Club. What really struck us is just how much they do in the community, and with people of all ages and levels of swimming ability. We have been especially impressed with the work they do with their young para-athletes, some of whom I recently had the pleasure of meeting. We were also pleased to see how much they do for others in the community, especially after they rallied round to support those affected by the war in Ukraine. The coaches and staff all seem so passionate about their club, and the swimmers themselves are such a well behaved and good-natured bunch – a real credit to themselves and the club. We hope our donation helps them to continue their good work both in and out of the pool.”
Steve Jones, Richmond Dales ASC Chair, commented:
“Our club is riding high after some spectacular success in recent months. Not only have we have won Swim England’s Swimming Club of the Year, but swimmers in our performance squads have had some outstanding achievements at county, regional and national level. Our youth development squads, which act as a pathway to competitive swimming, continues to grow and go from strength to strength. And, our para-squads continue to exceed all expectation, breaking world records and winning medals at national and international level.
“However, like many clubs across the UK, we face some sobering challenges. Inflation and the cost-of-living crisis threatens our viability. As our costs rise, we must focus on running a well organised, efficient, and financially stable club. We are committed to doing this. We are extremely grateful to John and Sandra for their generous donation, they are such a credit to the community and the work they do is invaluable. Donations such as this will be vital in helping us achieve our aim of stability as we go forward.”
For more information about the Lance Corporal Ben Hyde Memorial Trust, please visit http://lancecorporalbenhydetrust.org.uk/