TTFF has stepped in with the funds needed to secure the future of one of Middlesbrough’s oldest grassroots sports clubs.
In what is hoped will be the start of a long-term partnership, our charity has pledged £1,500 to Middlesbrough Amateur Swimming Club (MASC).
This takes the club beyond its £10,000 target for new equipment, coaching and volunteer support.
The donation marks the start of a three-year partnership Between TTF and the club, with the possibility of supporting MASC with a further £500 per year after that.
The Teesside Family Foundation is also open to potentially supporting swimmers who are less fortunate than others with their coaching and equipment needs.
Tony Wedlake, a trustee of TTFF, explained the charity – whose slogan and hashtag is #WELOOKAFTEROUROWN – is keen to support grassroots sports clubs and young hopeful sports stars across Teesside.
“We are looking forward to supporting the club for the next three years, taking our mascot Teesside Ted to galas and presenting trophies,” said Tony.
“The trustees are all very good at supporting our own and our grass roots sports are a key part of that.
“Most of the grassroots sports clubs we support are football clubs.
“But a swimming club is just as important as any other club, so when we saw a swimming club looking for funds, particularly one with such a long and proud history in the area, we were keen to get involved.”
The swimming club, which has been around since 1886, set up a CrowdFunder page after the cancellation of galas due to Covid saw it lose out on dozens of fundraising opportunities last year.
More than £8,000 was raised – and TTFF’s donation of £1,500 means Sport England will match funds giving the club an additional £5,000 to support its activities.
Swimmer Aimee Wilmott, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion in the 400 metres individual medley, trained at Middlesbrough Amateur Swimming Club and the club currently has more than 100 young amateur swimming hopefuls.
At least 30 of these have progressed from the club’s academy with a view to becoming part of the club’s national squad, which takes swimmers up to the age of 18 to British nationals and regional galas.
Oliver Mack, MASC chair and one of 75 registered volunteers at the club, said: “When Tony got in touch and said the charity would like to help we were so pleased and the support we have had from the public has been amazing.
“A lot of kids don’t realise you can join a swimming club but we have been coaching kids, whether it is their hobby or whether they are more serious, since 1886.”
Oliver added swimmers of all abilities are encouraged and for some it’s about having a hobby that keeps you fit or getting a personal best, while for others it’s about being the next county champion!
“All the swimmers know their own times and ambitions and they motivate themselves towards their own goals,” said Oliver.
“There’s a real mixture in terms of what the kids themselves want to achieve and we support them to reach their potential, whatever that might be.
“We are keen to reach out to more swimmers across all the age ranges and hopefully these funds will allow us to do that.”