The Haywards Heath Lions Club's Swimarathon is an annual charity fundraising event held at the Dolphin Leisure Centre on Good Friday. Teams of six swimmers are invited to swim in a 50-minute-long relay to raise money for Haywards Heath Lions Club's Charitable Trust or their own choice of local good cause and for the Lions' selected good cause.

Sponsorship open until 31 May

The Swimarathon enables teams of six swimmers of any age to raise money for Haywards Heath Lions Club's Charitable Trust or their own choice of local good cause. The sponsorship money raised by each team is paid to Haywards Heath Lions Club, who then distribute it to the charities and good causes.

The key objective is to raise as much money as possible while having fun!

We're also raising funds through our online second-hand bookstall - why not help us out and find something to read? All books £1

Report from the 2022 Swimarathon

In 2022 thirty-six teams swam 4,310 lengths and over £11,000 was raised.

Competition winners 2022

CompetitionWinning teamLengths
Age 11 and underDolphin Doughnuts66
Primary schoolBurgess Hill Girls Year 5111
Secondary school years 7-9Downlands177
OpenOn D Lash188
Family teamThe Slippery Suckers124
Swimming Club 15 and underMarlins Water Devils113
Swimming Club OpenMarlins Top Squids203

If you have any questions not covered in the FAQ below, please use the contact details below.

Entries for 2023 open in January

Frequently asked questions

How does sponsorship work?

Sponsorship is for the whole team, not the individual swimmer. All sponsorship money must be collected by 31 May 2022.

Can I collect sponsorship online?

Yes, on entry each team will be sent a link to an online sponsorship page.

When do I have to send in the sponsorship money?

By 31 May.

Can I collect extra sponsors on Local Giving?

Yes, the Local Giving pages will remain active until 31 May.

When is the next Swimarathon?

The next swimarathon will take place on Friday 7th April 2023 (Good Friday). The first teams start at 8am and the final teams start at 6pm.

Where does the Swimarathon take place?

The Dolphin (Leisure Centre), Pasture Hill Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1LY.

How do I enter a team in the Swimarathon?

The online entry form will be available on this website from January 2023.

Who organises the Swimarathon?

2022 was the 37th Swimarathon run by the Haywards Heath Lions Club. Haywards Heath Lions Club is a friendly service organisation, which raises money for good causes mostly within the local area.

How is the sponsorship money collected and distributed?

Each team is given an online donation page by Haywards Heath Lions Club. The sponsorship money raised by each team is paid to Haywards Heath Lions Club Charity Trust Fund, which then distributes it to the charities and good causes.

Can I give my team's sponsorship money to the Haywards Heath Lions' Club?

Yes, you can choose to give all your sponsorship to Haywards Heath Lions Club's charitable trust.

Why is Gift Aid important?

It is important that you ask all your sponsors (if they are UK tax payers) to tick the Gift Aid box (whether they are donating online or on paper). This allows Haywards Heath Lions Club to claim an additional 25p from HMRC on every £1 donated.

How much money does my charity or good cause get?

This year, a team's chosen charity or good cause will receive all the sponsorship money collected by that team. The money will be paid to the charity or good cause by Haywards Heath Lions Club.

Who can I choose for my charity or good cause?

All local good causes are welcome. In 2019 teams raised money for causes ranging from charities to local schools, Guides and sports clubs.

How many people should be in a team?

Each team should consist of six swimmers and an adult non-swimming length counter. All seven should collect sponsorship. Other supporters may also collect sponsorship for the team.

Can my team have fewer than six swimmers?

Yes, but your team will not be eligible for the competition.

Who can be in a swimming team?

There are no age restrictions, however the pool is 25m long and swimmers need to be able to complete several one-length swims during the 50 minutes.

What is the format of the Swimarathon?

Teams are allocated a swim time and lane. Swimmers complete lengths for 50 minutes in a relay style. The non-swimming length-counter keeps a tally of the number of lengths swum by the team.

What do swimmers receive for taking part?

All participants receive a medal after their swim.

Can I recycle my medal?

Yes, please leave medals at the pool.

Is there a competetive element to the Swimarathon?

Yes, teams may elect to enter one category of competition, which can be seen on the application form. Certificates will be awarded to the team which completes the most lengths in each of the categories. Trophies will be awarded to the Primary and Secondary school teams completing the most lengths. Trophies will be retained by the winning schools for 12 months, and then returned.

What are the rules for entering the schools' competitions?

Teams entering the competitions must contain exactly 6 swimmers who are all attending that school at the time of the event, and in the case of secondary schools must be in the appropriate year groups.

What are the rules of the competition?

Teams must have exactly 6 swimmers, who must swim in order, with each swimmer completing their length before the next swimmer starts their length.

How long has the Swimarathon been running?

The 2022 Swimarathon was our 37th Swimarathon since 1983.

How much money was raised last time?

The 2019 swimarathon raised £21,781.49. A donation of £15,000 was presented to Headway East Sussex, and the remainder paid to the other good causes chosen by the individual teams.

Can I help on the day?

Yes! Please use the contact details below if you'd like to volunteer to help for all or part of the day.

Can I or my employer sponsor the Swimarathon?

Yes! Please use the contact details below.

Contact us

If you'd like to get in touch for any reason, please email or telephone 01444 451157.