YMCA Club to host a 30th anniversary Swimathon event in 2017.

Pool manager Nassim Hamadache explains what Swimathon involves and how you can take part.

What is Swimathon

Swimathon is the world’s biggest annual fundraising swim. It’s 30 years old next year and we will be one of more than 600 venues around the UK celebrating this landmark by hosting its first ever Swimathon event. So far the total fundraising amount over the previous 29 years stands at a staggering £46 million, which has been distributed amongst 36 different charities. 

Duncan Goodhew, Swimathon President and Olympic gold-medallist, said: “For the last 29 years it has been a real joy to see Swimathon develop and mature into the great event it is today. Swimathon really was ahead of its time giving people a chance to get active and do some good at the same time. I am so proud of both Swimathon’s longevity and its legacy.”

Swimathon at YMCA Club

The 2017 challenge takes place over three days from 7th – 9th April and YMCA Club will be welcoming swimmers to take part on Saturday 8th April from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Choose your distance

Whether you are doing it as part of a team (which makes it easier) or going it solo there's a range of distances to choose from. Pick the one that will be right for you.

  • Individual 1.5k (60 lengths in our pool) – this is a great challenge for novice swimmers, or those that prefer to push their speed on shorter distances.
  • Individual 2.5k (100 lengths in our pool) – the perfect challenge for the intermediate swimmer who trains regularly and wants to push their boundaries.
  • Individual 5k (200 lengths in our pool) – this is the ultimate Swimathon challenge and to complete the 5k distance takes dedication, commitment and a good training programme.
  • Team 1.5k – 60 lengths of a 25m pool in a relay with friends, family or colleagues. Split it as you like – shorter distances for the novice or longer for the kids.
  • Team 5k – This is for teams of 2 to 5 swimmers. Split it evenly between members or break it down according to abilities and get everyone involved.

Whichever distance you choose, you'll be helping raise money for Marie Curie, the UK's leading charity for people living with any terminal illness. So why not sign up this January and not only make this your new-year’s resolution, but also make a difference for this great cause?

Need help with your training?

YMCA Club will assist all its members who sign-up for the event from January.

We will dedicate free weekly drop-in sessions to help you improve your stroke. We will also hold swim workshops, which will combine classroom and pool-based guidance. The aim of the workshop consists of assessing swimmers’ techniques and establishing how to improve it. Swimmers will be filmed in the water and the videos can be analysed in the classroom and given to individual swimmers to see their own stroke in their own time.

Joining our free coached triathlon swim sessions (Tuesday evenings) and our ASA-affiliated volunteer swim club (Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings) is also a great way for adult members to develop their swimming skills and fitness. 

Our adult swimming lessons (Sunday afternoon), bookable through Club reception, are a low-cost option for improvers as well as total beginners. And if those times don’t suit you, and you need more individual support, we have swim teachers whose personal contacts are available from Club reception to book paid-for one-to-one lessons with.


Using SWIMTAG along the way will be a great way to track how well you are doing. SWIMTAG is free to members of the YMCA Club. It is a system that logs your swims in our pool and shows how far, how fast and how efficiently you swam. We will set competitions which you can do in your own time, that cover all distances set in Swimathon. At the end of each month leading up to the competition we will set 1.5k, 2.5k as well as 5k-distance challenges that you can join online. These will give you the chance to test how long it takes to cover your target distance.

Our weekly drop-in sessions and monthly swim workshops will help you tailor your swimming programmes and techniques to achieve the best time on the competition. 

How to register

Registration is now open for Swimathon 2017. Participants can enter to take part at YMCA Club through the Swimathon website. If you sign up before 13 January you can benefit from a 25% discount towards your registration fee. So why wait?

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ymca | 16 December 2016