The Swim Proud Fund: An Update The Swim Proud Fund: An Update

The Swim Proud Fund: An Update

A few months back, we announced our plans for a new SOUL CAP initiative:

Our pledge to donate £100k to Black swim projects and programmes.

Since then, we’ve been overwhelmed by support from the wider swimming community — from swimmers and coaches to clubs and non-profits.

But beyond that: we’re amazed at the number of applications rolling in.

It’s been incredible to read your stories and see the inspiring opportunities where the Swim Proud Fund can make a meaningful difference.

It’s a testament to the passion of the people who love swimming — and a testament to how far we’ve come as a community.

And we’re only just getting started.

Here’s what we’ve been up to with the Swim Proud Fund, and what you can expect in the months ahead:

What’s happening now with Swim Proud?

We’re getting close to the end of our first-round applications, where countless swimmers have shared their ideas for Black swim projects that need funding.

We’ll be taking applications for the first round of Swim Proud until December 22, 2023.

So if you’re working on a project or you’ve got a new idea, there’s still time to apply — and we’d love to hear about it.

You can learn more about Swim Proud here, or jump straight in to apply online and tell us all about your project.

(But don’t wait too long. There’s only a month left!)

What’s up next?

Once we close applications for the first round, we’ll be bringing together our Board of Trustees for the first Swim Proud Trustee Meeting at the beginning of January, 2024.

We’ll be looking carefully through the most promising applications we received in the first round — reviewing every opportunity and exciting swim project to find the ideas that can have the biggest impact on the Black swim community.

Meet the trustees

We founded Swim Proud to bring diversity to the water. And that’s exactly how we built our team of trustees — with representation from every area of the swimming world.

It’s their job to choose the most promising swim projects that can make the biggest difference to our communities. And to make sure every application gets the attention and thorough review it deserves.

Ayo Akinwolere

Ayo is a world-record swimmer and award-winning sports broadcaster. He’s trained non-swimmers to compete in open-water events, and produced documentaries that have inspired many.

Abigail Black

Abigail is an all-year-round outdoor swimmer, participating in outdoor long-distance swims.  She hopes everyone can find happiness in life-long swimming. 

Lauren Estwick

Lauren is a founding member of the Leaders in Sports Diversity Council, and a Sports Industry Group Next Gen Leader. She founded and currently leads the sports practice at the creative agency, House 337.

Michael Chapman & Toks Ahmed

Michael and Toks founded SOUL CAP to create access and inclusivity in swimming, partnering with charities and non-profits to break down barriers and bring diversity to the water.

When’s the next round?

If you miss the December 22 deadline, don’t worry:

We’ll be opening applications for a second round at the beginning of February 2024.

So if you’re not ready to apply now, you’ll get a second chance to share your swim project — and a chance to get the funding you need.

We’ll be posting new updates with the exact date as things move forward. So keep checking back with us here at SOUL CAP, or scroll down and sign up to our newsletter to get the latest updates dropped in your inbox.

How can I get involved?

We’re already so grateful for the passion and support we’ve seen from the swimming community.

With your help, we’ve been able to reach so many new communities, and we’ve learned so much from the ideas and initiatives in our first round of applications.

But we know there are still more stories out there.

So if you’re not involved with a swim project that can apply?

You can still help us to reach the right people.

Swim Proud is looking for Black swim projects that:

  • Promote swim education
  • Create access to pools and swimming facilities
  • Provide training to swim teachers and coaches
  • Teach water safety and swim-related skills
  • Or donate equipment and products to swimmers.

If you know someone who’s doing work like this, drop them a link or tell them what we’re about.

Because the Swim Proud Fund was made to bring communities together.

And it’s swimmers like you that can help us all get there.

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