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Club Update – 11th July

Following the Government’s recent announcement on the re-opening of pools from 25th July, I’m delighted to write with an update for you on our plans for a safe return to the pool, alongside a further club update.

Return to Swimming

As we look to 25th July and a time when we can return to the pool, we will continue to be guided by our governing body – Swim England. We have, of course, been in contact with both pool facilities well ahead of this decision and established their re-opening plans and ability to satisfy our pool needs. I am pleased to say that we are in great shape and will be ready to go from 25th July.

Swim England have published extensive guidance as to requirements for the safe return to swimming – our Head Coach, Ben Hatchett, has been working through all requirements and has his team of coaches ready and equipped to deliver what is required.

You can access the full guidance via this link below:-

Returning to Pools Guidance Documents

Full details of the Richmond Return to the Pool sessions will be issued in due course.


We have been successful in attracting volunteers for the key role of ‘Covid Officer’- without which we would not be able to open. My thanks go to Arwen Peggotty and Guy Gray for putting themselves forward for this role.

We also require a new Board Member volunteer for the Key Role of Club Treasurer.

The club treasurer is responsible for producing and managing the club’s accounts and finances and will oversee all income and expenditure for the club and plays a vital role within the club.

What we are looking for?

· You will be enthusiastic with a good knowledge of managing finances.

· You will have a financial background and good knowledge of managing and producing accounts.

· You will have a knowledge of using and producing accounting spreadsheets or other accounting systems.

· You will be reliable and honest.

· You will have a knowledge of various banking systems such as direct debit.

If you are in a position to volunteer for this role then please do let me know via my email:

8:5:3 Challenge

The incredible spirit of the club has shone throughout the 8-5-3 Challenge. An amazing £6800 has been raised – and with promised further monies we are set to break the £7000 barrier. Well done and ‘thank you’ to all – the monies will be put to great use on new lane ropes and starting blocks.

Lockdown Coaching Review

I am sure you will join with me in thanking the incredible coaching team for their tireless work in keeping the swimmers engaged throughout the 4 month period.

I have studied the actions of other clubs and can categorically say that Richmond Dales activity sits amongst the very best in the country. With Education sessions including no less than 6 Olympians we have led the North East region and much of the country. At a time when other clubs have often chosen to continue to charge a fee during lockdown we remained fee-free in order to ensure that every swimmer had the opportunity to interact with the club. I’m very proud of these efforts and of the club for remaining true to our ethos during such tough times.

Club Development

I am delighted to advise that our proposal to create the ‘North Yorkshire Dales Club Network’ has come to fruition and this entity has its first official meeting on Monday 13th July. Ben Hatchett will chair this Network and ensure that Richmond Dales is at the forefront of swimming club development in the region – an exciting time for our club.

Club Finances

I would like to thank, once again, every member that has continued to pay their club fees during this prolonged period.

We have sustained very heavy losses during this very difficult period and these fees have really helped. Our Gala Income has been removed and we face the real prospect of this continuing across the rest of this year.

Our Fundraising Team have worked tirelessly to track down and apply for any available grants to assist with our challenges. We were deeply disappointed to be rejected by Sport England for a grant from their Community Emergency Fund.

We currently have submissions for funding assistance with Comic Relief, Aviva, Warburton’s, Children in Need and Richmondshire District Council. We have even written to Rishi Sunak!

I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to the Fundraising Team for their continued efforts – these applications are not simple and they have been relentless in their pursuit of funding.

Moving Forward

As I stated previously, our intention is to prosper and grow and we have a plan in place that we believe will deliver a sustainable model for the club – both Swim North East and North Yorkshire Sport recognise that we are progressive club and have the potential to become sustainable.

Our challenge will be the next 12 months and we will need a number of key elements to fall in line to enable us to ride this storm:-

· Club Fees – these will be reviewed ahead of the new season. There will be an increase and we will endeavour to make this as small as possible.

· Fund Raising – we are exploring a number of initiatives designed to provide the club with both a significant injection of funds and a longer term additional income stream. We will need you help and commitment more so than ever when we launch these initiatives

If you have any questions about this or any other issue please do not hesitate tocontact .

As always, during such a challenging time, I would like to thank our swimmers and parents for their continued support of the club.

Take care, stay safe and we’ll see you back in the water in a few weeks.

Richard Palmer-Jones

Chair – RDASC

Club Update

Following the Prime Minister’s recent briefing, I wanted to write to update you on various Club matters.

Firstly, during such a challenging time, I would like to thank our swimmers and parents for their continued support of the club.

Most recently the incredible spirit of the club has shone through via the 8-5-3 Challenge. An amazing £6047 has been raised so far – with more monies coming in each day. Well done and ‘thank you’ to all the swimmers who have set themselves challenges and helped raise much needed monies for the Club.


Many of our swimmers have remained in contact with our Coaching Team – primarily via regular Zoom sessions – in order to maintain fitness during this break from the pool. This will really help as you look to return to the pool and I urge any swimmers who have not been attending to re-connect with your coach.

The addition of our ‘Olympic Special Guests’ to the Monday Education sessions have been a great success. These will continue and we have confirmation of 3 further Olympians lined up across the next month to spend time with you and answer your swimming questions.

Looking across the region we believe that we have offered the most extensive squad provision of any club and my thanks go to the coaching team for delivering such excellent work.

Club Development

Ahead of lockdown we hinted at extending the reach of the club and developing stronger links with other clubs in our area. I am delighted to advise that our proposal to create the ‘North Yorkshire Dales Club Network’ has been wholeheartedly backed by Swim North East and we are currently in the process of formally launching this initiative.

This will provide a fantastic learning hub for coaches in the region – and enable both Richmond and surrounding clubs the opportunity to develop ‘home-grown’ coaches for the future – all under the mentorship of our Head Coach, Ben Hatchett.

Return to Swimming

As we look to the period ahead and a time when we can return to the pool, we will be guided by our governing body – Swim England. Their excellent work and communication has confirmed that any return will not be before 4th July – but that clarity regarding a timeframe and potential restrictions will be published on 15th June. We will, of course, be in contact with both pool facilities well ahead of any potential re-opening to ensure that they will comply with the guidance offered by Swim England for the safety and security of all our swimmers.

Details of their guidance can be seen here:-

Further details regarding this guidance can be seen here:-

Club Finances

Firstly, I would like to thank every member that has continued to pay their club fees during this prolonged period. These monies have really helped the club reduce our losses during this very difficult period.

Richmond Dales, like many other clubs and businesses, has been hit hard by the pandemic. Our traditional income streams have been severed and, in particular, our vital Gala income has been removed.

We have explored every possible means of grant aid and we are currently awaiting multiple decisions from bodies that will affect the running of the club in the future. Our intention is to prosper and grow and we have a plan in place that we believe will deliver a sustainable model for the club. Our challenge will be the next 12 months and I will endeavour to keep you all as fully informed as I can on the situation as it unfolds.

We do, unlike some other clubs and businesses, have an ace in our pack – you! I believe that we can and will get through this period – but your spirit and drive to help this club emerge from the current crisis will be needed now more than ever. The 8-5-3 initiative shows just what we can achieve when we work together for the good of the club and we may need you to step forward once more with a new fundraising initiative before year end.

If you have any questions about this or any other issue please do not hesitate to .

Take care, stay safe and we’ll soon be back in the water.

Richard Palmer-Jones

Chair – RDASC

Special Guest – Chris Cook

Chris Cook joined us for two sessions via Zoom; the first of which, for our Elite & Age Group athletes focused on Mental Toughness, Mindset, Motivation/Focus/Confidence, Personal Responsibility, Tenacity/Resilience/Composure and Deliberately seeking Discomfort. The session was highly beneficial and our athletes learnt a massive amount.

Chris then talked to our Juniors through his journey in competitive swimming, starting in South Shields as a boy, right the way through to his Olympic Games experiences. Loads of fantastic questions were asked by our Juniors, to which we actually ran over by 30mins!

Thanks to Chris for delivering two great sessions!

Special Guest – James Guy

On the 4th May we welcomed James Guy via Zoom to speak with our members!

For our Elite & Age Group squads, James took us through two of his World Championship, 200 Freestyle swims; analysing the differences in mentality, tactics and approach. This was followed by a short Q&A session where James went into detail around his current training, how he moved into competitive swimming and his background as an Age Group athlete.

For the Junior members of the club, James was kind enough to run a Q&A session, where some fantastic questions were asked around favoured event, diet, current training, competitions and his background in competitive swimming.

In total, we had around 70 athletes on the two calls and all thoroughly enjoyed speaking to James.


Summer Madness Gala – Cancelled

Following the latest Government announcement on the 11 May and the recent announcement from Swim England regarding the suspending licences for swimming competitions, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel our Summer Madness gala on the 11 July. I am sure you all share in our disappointment, but until we have a clear timeline for the appropriate reintroduction of competitions and the easing of lockdown and further information on what social distancing measures we would need to put in place, we are unable to hold this competition. 
We are still busy planning for our Back to Pool gala on the 26/27th September and further information on this will be sent out soon. In the meantime stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all soon.

Latest Squad Training Advice

Following yesterday’s Prime Minister’s daily COBRA briefing we received updated guidance from Swim England as to the capacity for the club to continue its current activities.

The Board of RDASC has examined this guidance and we have taken the step to suspend all club training and activities with immediate effect.


Your Club Fees will be suspended during the period – all Direct Debits will be suspended and there is no need for you to do anything, our finance team will undertake the necessary steps.

Those paying by Direct Debit should take NO acton regarding payments, this will be managed by RDASC.

If you have continued to pay by Standing Order, then you will need to cancel these payments immediately – we will not be in a position to issue Standing Order refunds.

Club Updates

We will review the situation every 14 days and update you accordingly as to when training will resume. The next update will be Monday 6th April.

Club Funding

The Club will continue to cover its liabilities during this period and this will place increased pressure on our resources. If you feel in a position to continue to pay your club fees during this period then please do let us know via the  email address as this will significantly assist with the clubs finances.

The Future

Whilst we are currently experiencing an unprecedented situation with the spread of COVID-19, we wish to assure you that RDASC has put steps in place to ensure that the club will continue to service the swimmers of our region well beyond this current period.

Last night the Board unanimously approved an exciting new Club Structure and Expansion Plan presented by our Head Coach, Ben Hatchett. We are now actively seeking to add to our coaching team and are in the process of rubber-stamping key links with two other Swimming Clubs within this area.

We are sorry that it has not been possible for the Club to remain in operation during this time, as we had previously hoped, but RDASC has a great future ahead of it – and we are excited for you to continue to play your part in it.

If you have any questions about this or any other issue please do not hesitate to contact 

Squad Training Advice – Swim England

As some of you will be aware, Swim England last night reviewed its guidance to clubs regarding training at club level.

We are in the process of looking at the advice / guidance and hope to update you as soon as we can.

In the meantime, training will continue as usual.

Please keep us updated with any concerns you may have regarding your swimmers health to assist us in keeping all of our members safe.

Kind regards

The Board of RDASC

April Fools Gala – Cancelled

Dear All,

In response to the recent guidance from the Government, Public Health England and subsequent advice from Swim England with regards to COVID-19, we have now taken steps to cancel our April Fool Gala, which was due to be held at the John Charles Centre, Leeds on 28/29 March 2020.  I know you will share in our disappointment in making this decision but we must ensure the safety and wellbeing of all swimmers, coaches, volunteers and parents.

RDASC will be organising a full refund to Clubs for all swims and poolside passes.  All refunds will be paid directly to the swimmer’s affiliated Club, followed by a confirmation email to the Club’s Competitions Secretary. 

Where multiple paper entries have been received from Clubs, we also intend to make a single BACS payment transfer directly to the Club and ask that the Club reimburse their swimmers accordingly.

Can I ask that each recipient of this email reply with confirmation of their Club’s bank details so as to ensure reimbursements are made to the current bank account.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing to take part in our April Fool Gala, and also for your continued support.

Swim England Link:

Coronavirus Advice for Swimmers

In light of the widespread concerns regarding Coronavirus, we are following guidance from Swim England, local authorities and the British Government. At this point, club activities will continue as planned (training and competitions included) unless we communicate or are forced otherwise. We encourage that members exercise the appropriate cautions around hand washing and disposing of tissues as per the widely available guidance.

Club members are encouraged that if they do have any concerns about possible infection, we ask that they contact the club immediately so appropriate steps can be taken. We do have several members with disabilities and respiratory conditions.

Scarlett’s Charity Chop

A huge shout out to Scarlett Goodwin who last week had her hair cut and donated the cuttings to the Little Princess Trust, a charity who construct hair pieces for children who have lost their hair through illness. 

Scarlett also has a Just Giving page (details on link below) raising money for the British Heart Foundation.  She has a target of £200 so please help Scarlett pass this total if you can, its for a fantastic cause. 

Well Done Scarlett.

If you are fund raising for a good cause or are doing something to support a charity, let us know about it and we will do our best to support you.