Swim Ireland, the governing body of swimming in Ireland, has been named as the overall winner of this year’s Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund.
The fund awards €125,000 each year to non-profit organisations promoting healthy and active lifestyles in local communities across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Swim Ireland will receive €25,000 to enable it to roll out its Swimathon 2014: Swim for a Mile project, which will encourage the public to take part in a swimathon, the swimming equivalent of a marathon, held in the 50m pool at the National Aquatic Centre in April 2014.
The campaign will encourage people to train in the weeks and months leading up to the swimathon. A series of other swimathons will also be held in locations around the country in the run-up to the main event.
The project aims to build the confidence and expertise of people who know how to swim but may not be regular swimmers at the moment.
Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, said at the presentation: “Swim Ireland is a very deserving winner, its Swim for a Mile Challenge initiative will be encouraging those that have been out of the water for a while to dive back in. I would like to applaud Coca-Cola on this, the third year of their Coca-Cola Thank You Fund. It is a very real example of business working to promote healthy, active communities. The 11 organisations that will share in this generous fund will be making a significant difference in communities around the island of Ireland.”
“Thank you to the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund! This award will make our Swim for a Mile Challenge a reality,” said Sarah Keane, Chief Executive Officer of Swim Ireland. “The aim of the program is to promote swimming and its many health benefits. Swimming is such an inclusive sport – open to everyone, of any age and all fitness levels. We are thrilled to be rolling out this exciting project, and are so grateful to Coca-Cola for their support.”
“The funding awarded to each of the 11 winners will result in exciting, diverse initiatives designed to promote healthy, active lifestyles being realised across the island of Ireland. I would like to congratulate all of the entries on their creativity and passion, the calibre of the proposals received by Coca-Cola this year was very impressive. I would also like to thank Minister Ring for his continued support, and our panel of judges that had the onerous task of selecting a shortlist from over 300 entries,” said Ailish Forde, Director, Public Affairs and Communications Coca-Cola HBC Ireland.
As well as Swim Ireland, 10 other non-profit organisations each won a €10,000 grant from the fund this year:
Dundalk Simon Community
Europa Donna Ireland Limited
Inkwell Youth Group
Irish Basketball Association
Irish Hockey Association
Listowel Community Centre
Monkstown Boxing Club
The Camogie Association
The Prince’s Trust