Bush Fire Crisis Fundraiser

As the British Media start to follow the developing Bush Fire crisis in Australia, the horrors and devastation facing the people and wildlife of Australia becomes more and more severe. 

At the start of January, the normal beginning of the bush fire season, an area the size of Belgium is ablaze, with up to two months of fire still to contend with. Homes have been lost, lives have been destroyed and millions of animals have been burnt alive, or suffocated in the smoke. Some species whose habitats have been destroyed may never recover. Over 1000 homes have been destroyed in New South Wales alone, with more devastation to come.

18 months of drought are contributing to deadly conditions, and fires have grown out of control to the extent where they are creating their own weather systems, the smoke is blocking out the sun, and Canberra the nations capital is now, due to the smoke, the most polluted place on earth. Skies in New Zealand, a 3 hour flight away have turned orange at times due to the size of the fires. 

Nathaniel Rookes, James Lake and Iain Chalmers, the head coaches of three local swimming clubs, with the support of the Plymouth Life Centre have decided to hold a fundraiser over the 1st & 2nd of February 2020. 

We are offering  one to one coaching sessions to swimmers of all levels in exchange for a donation to the Australian Red Cross, who are helping to combat the fires, and assist with relief work for the victims and helping the country to rebuild.

From 13.00 to 20.00 on both days, we will be available to work on technique, skills, race practice work or anything else that fits your requirements. Sessions will be 30 or 60 minutes depending on your wishes. 

At present we are hoping to enlist the aid of competitive swimmers to help demonstrate, explain and support our coaching skills, to help anyone who takes up this offer and it is possible other teachers and coaches will join us. We will announce more as we progress in the next few weeks.

From the other side of the planet there isn’t much we can do to help Australia, but this is one way we can. 

The Coaches

James, Nathaniel and Iain all have long histories in the sport, each being a competitive swimmer to a national level within their swimming careers. They were coached by some of the most reputable names in British Swimming, and involved with some of its biggest clubs. James himself coached both Iain and Nathaniel before they joined his career path as coaches themselves. 

All three are highly qualified, and bring years of experience as coaches, teachers and swimmers to every session. All three have coached swimmers to medals at a national level, and have had great success at Regional and County levels, as well as creating formidable teams. All three have led their clubs to the brightest times in their respective histories. James Lake was the 2019 Devon Swimming Coach of the Year, Nathaniel the 2018 Devon Young Coach of the Year while Iain heads up for 2018 Swimming Club of the Year. 

We are all keen to help as many swimmers as we can, and in doing so – help Australia. 

The Plymouth Life Centre

PLC have kindly donated pool time free of charge to allow us to run this fundraiser. We are immensely grateful to them. The Life Centre is likely well known to you already, but please do check them out, follow their social media content and keep an eye on the various charitable fund raisers and events they run throughout the year. 

How to book a session? 

Bookings will open at the end of the week – and we will post how to go about doing so by then. For now, please express and interest, please share the event and please tell as many people as you can.

The Australian Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross is equivalent to the British Red Cross you will be familiar with. At present, the damage to Australia is in the millions and when it’s all done, more than likely the billions of Australian Dollars. The ARC are working on supporting victims to rebuild their lives, supporting fire crews in tackling the fires. and Australia as a country to recover and rebuild.

We will also be making a donation to Macmillan Cancer Research. Everyone Active have been kind enough to Donate a significant amount of pool time to us, and as their supported charity we will be donating to Macmillan as a means of showing our gratitude. This donation will be made by the coaches, yours will go to the Australian Red Cross.

How to Donate?

As it’s a foreign country and charity we are looking at whether we can use JustGiving, or a similar fundraising service. Once we have this established we will share information about this at time of booking. 

How much should I donate?

This is up to you – we don’t want to set a minimum amount. As a rough guide, a 1-1 swimming lesson with a swimming teacher is likely to cost £12-20 depending on service provider. A level 2 coach is likely to charge between £20-30 for an hour, sometimes more. While a level 3 coach anywhere from £30-50+.

While we have zero expectation of anyone donating anywhere near that amount, please give generously to help support this charity.

How can I help?

Donations aside, sharing this event, liking its content and spreading the word to your friends, team mates and swimming clubs would be brilliant. 

If you are a swimming coach or teacher and would like to be involved, please get in contact and we will see what we can work out.

We hope you will help us to help the Bush Fire relief effort – and we look forward to seeing you soon!

James, Nathaniel & Iain

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