Swim club welcomes donation from Richmond society

The Richmond Dales Amateur Swimming Club (RDASC) is set to benefit from a £5,000 donation from a local business.

Richmond Fire Engineers Ltd made the donation in recognition of the club’s work in helping locals get the most out of their swimming course.

Richmond Dales ASC offers dedicated services for children and young people of all abilities, as well as an excellent team of masters and a highly regarded para team.

The club serves a very wide geographical area and runs several additional programs to encourage people of all ages and stages to take up the sport.

It was through one such initiative that Chris Ryde, co-general manager of Richmond Fire Engineers, was first introduced to the club when his eight-year-old daughter, Amber, signed up for an initiation course in part of the Aspire to Swim. program in 2017.

After the 10-week program ended, Amber became addicted and five years later remains at RDASC.

Chris and his business partner Lee Smith first approached RDASC to donate just before the pandemic hit.

Impressed with the club’s work both in the pool and in the wider community, Chris and Lee initially pledged £2,500 to support the club’s continued financial viability.

When the pandemic hit and with the huge loss of income RDASC suffered, this donation proved to be extremely important.

As the club continues to recover from the impact of Covid-19, Chris and Lee recently pledged an extra £2,500 to celebrate 30 years of his business.e birthday.

This money will support the development of a new website which will offer a wider range of features to existing members and will also act as a ‘storefront’ to help attract an even wider membership base.

Due to covid restrictions, Chris was only able to present the club with the combined £5,000 donation recently.

Chris said: “Anyone who knows me knows that I’m proud to call myself born and raised in Richmond.

“It’s a city that I love and I truly believe that RDASC represents the best the district has to offer. It’s fantastic to be able to be back in the pool and see how the swimmers have improved.

“I am very happy that our initial donation of £2500 helped the club through those dark months during Covid when everything came to a standstill.

“I am also delighted that the subsequent donation of an additional £2,500 will support the RDASC to future-proof its website, helping to provide existing members with the quality information they need, while reaching potential new members with news of everything the inspiring work of the club. ..”

RDACS head coach Gordon Rea said: “We are extremely grateful to Chris, Lee and their company, Richmond Fire Engineers Ltd, for their continued defense of the club.

“It is clear that Chris is very proud of his association with the RDASC as we support his daughter throughout her swimming journey.

“However, I also know that he appreciates the wider work we do within our fantastic Para and Masters teams, as well as within the wider community as well.”