Next year: Good Friday 18th April 2025

We held our Swimarathon on Good Friday, 29 March 2024.

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 55-minute-long relay to raise money for a good cause of their own choice and for the Lions' selected good cause.

For 2024, the Lions chose to support Time 4 Children.

Time 4 Children is a small charity, based in Haywards Heath, which aims to increase the emotional well-being, self-confidence and self-esteem of emotionally vulnerable children of primary-school age in Mid Sussex.

They do this by providing a 'listening ear' in individual weekly sessions where a child can explore their worries, fears, anxieties or experiences with trained Volunteer Practitioners.

Time 4 Children is passionate in the belief that supporting children early enough when they are struggling with emotional upset in their lives can help prevent more serious mental health problems later on for the child, their siblings, and their parents.

Sponsorship open until 1 May

The Swimarathon enables teams of swimmers of all ages to raise money for a charity or good cause of their own choice and for the good cause chosen by Haywards Heath Lions Club. The sponsorship money raised by each team is paid to Haywards Heath Lions Club, who then distribute it to the charities and good causes. Half of each team's sponsorship is donated to that team's chosen charity or good cause, and half to the Lions' chosen good cause.

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

Report from the 2024 Swimarathon

In 2024 forty-four teams swam 5,161 lengths and so far over £19,000 has been raised.

Competition winners 2024

CompetitionWinning teamLengths
Under 12Fishy Fourth (4th HH Guides)93 (new record)
Under 16Basking Sharks111
Primary schoolWindmills Waders121
Family teamNosmig151 (new record)
OpenA-Team162 (new record)
Open total ages 300+Still Swimming148 (new record)
Swimming Club U16The Rapids147
Swimming Club OpenWater Polo Red Caps196 (new record)

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

Frequently asked questions

How does sponsorship work?

Sponsorship is for the whole team, not the individual swimmer. All sponsorship money must be collected by 1 May 2024.

Can I collect sponsorship online?

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

When will my online sponsorship page close?

1 May 2024.

Can I collect extra sponsors on Local Giving after the day of the event?

Yes, the Local Giving pages will remain active until 1 May.

When is the next Swimarathon?

The next swimarathon will take place on Friday 18th April 2025 (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 2025.

Who organises the Swimarathon?

2025 will be the 40th Swimarathon run by the Haywards Heath Lions Club since 1983. 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 choose Haywards Heath Lions' Club as my chosen good cause?

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

Who is the Lions' chosen good cause for 2024?

This year the Lions have selected Time 4 Children.

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?

A team's chosen charity or good cause will receive half 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 2024 teams raised money for causes ranging from charities to local schools, Guides, and disability clubs. You can also choose the Haywards Heath Lions Club charitable trust as your chosen good cause.

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 55 minutes.

What is the format of the Swimarathon?

Teams are allocated a swim time and lane. Swimmers complete lengths for 55 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.

What is the record number of lengths swum?

The overall record number of lengths is 196. For teams aged 15 and under, the record is 173 lengths.

How long has the Swimarathon been running?

The 2025 Swimarathon will be our 40th Swimarathon since 1983.

How much money was raised in 2023?

The 2023 swimarathon raised over £13,000. A donation of £7,000 was presented to West Sussex Mind, and the remainder paid to the other good causes chosen by the individual teams.

Can I help on the day?

Yes - we cannot run the event without our volunteers! 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.