I'm swimming 10km to support RLSS UK

When I was asked to be Ambassador for the RLSS UK Make a Splash campaign, I saw this as a great opportunity, to not only raise awareness of all the things the RLSS UK do, but also use raise awareness of our club; Nantwich Neptune Lifesaving Club. 

I love swimming, but spend more time on the edge of the pool these days teaching lifesaving, and less time splashing about in water myself. This challenge has allowed me to focus on my swimming again, and I have really enjoyed spending time every week doing something I enjoy. I can only fit in 10-20 lengths per week at the end of my teaching session, but it is a great way to cool off after an hour on the side of the pool, and the kids have got involved to by trying to race me up and down the pool! The club members have definitely helped my motivation, and gaining sponsors has made me work harder so I don't let them down. 

I would highly recommend the challenge to someone else. It is a great way to widen your reach on social media if you are keen to promote the work of the RLSS UK, or your own club. It allows you to take time out to enjoy the water again, and try new things; I had a go at paddle boarding, which was amazing, even though I could not stand up! It does help your fitness. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since the age of 10, and I find swimming is a sport I can enjoy without causing my blood sugar levels to drop dramatically. I just reduce my insulin in the morning and make sure I have a bit more to eat. The hardest thing for me was finding a way to keep my CGM sensor stuck on my arm so I could check my blood sugar levels! I found some great patches, and now where an armband in the water.  

To raise money, I had to think a little bit outside the box. People don't tend to sponsor you unless you are online, so I used the RLSS UK webpage link for donations. I sent the link out to as many people as I could, including work colleagues, family and friends. I also sold cakes at our Club Competition, and have just sold vegetables from our garden when we were over run with beans and giant courgettes! Every penny counts, and with most people selecting to add Gift Aid, I was amazed how quickly I exceeded my target. I would recommend doing small focused events to help you raise money, and don't feel too disappointed if just asking for sponsorship isn't very successful. Make the cause personal to you, give people a reason to donate, tell them a story that tugs at their heart strings! People are more likely to click on a link when you cause them to laugh, or feel happy, sad or scared. 

I want to support the RLSS UK, as their courses and resources help our club to train lots of young people in our local area. As a RLSS UK Aspire Club, we use partnership marketing to help increase our reach and visibility, and this has allowed us to build positive relationships with other lifesaving clubs, organisations and influencers. Being part of the charity is like being part of a huge lifesaving family. All charities are finding times tough at the moment, and even if I can only make a small amount of difference by raising a few hundred pounds, raising awareness helps to build the lifesaving community and attracts other people to join the cause. This can mean so much more to a charity than just the money your raise. 

Why not join in with the 'Make a Splash' campaign. As you support the RLSS UK through gaining sponsors, your brain will secrete “feel good” chemicals such as: Serotonin. Dopamine and Oxytocin. We all need something to smile about, so get out there and enjoy the water safely with your family and friends! 

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