Thame Swimathon 2022

Sun, Jun 12th 2022 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Many thanks to the teams who raised £3,140 (£3,835 including gift aid) towards charity!

Thame Swimathon 2022 Barley Hill teams

Press release - 12 June 2022 (updated on 31 Jul 2022).

The 9th edition of Thame Swimathon was held at the Thame Leisure on Sunday 12 June. 72 swimmers have thoroughly enjoyed the event and swam 1,891 lengths, the equivalent of 29.4 miles. 

The 14 teams fundraised £3,140. 

Rotary Phoenix Thame and District are very grateful to all volunteers from Rotary and from the local communities who have dedicated their time to be so successful. The unsung heroes of the event were the three parents who put together the teams: Jo Sackett recruited 10 teams from Thame Swimming Club and Barley Hill School, Kate Ellsworth put together 3 teams from John Hampden School, whilst Lauren Addis brought together the Barracudas team with children from St Joseph’s and Lord Williams’s School.

Jo Sackett said: “Great job today (12 June), a big thank you to Rotary for putting on such a fab event, really glad it’s back.”

Each participant received a medal awarded by a surprise guest, Paul Cowell, Mayor of Thame, who thoroughly enjoyed watching the action and chatted with the swimmers and their families.

Thame Swimathon had another surprise guest: Karen Eveleigh, Rotary Thames Valley District Governor, who supports 50 or so Rotary clubs in an area ranging from Farringdon in Oxfordshire to Windsor in Berkshire. Karen took the marshal role coordinating the counters recording the lengths swum by teams.

Thame Swimathon 2020 was kindly sponsored by Lucy Electric, Aston Hearing and Thame Leisure Centre (Better).

To participate is simple as 1-2-3:
1.Get a team of  4-6. Submit your team entry form. Scan it and send it to
2.Raise funds for your charity
3.Swim for 1 h
All ages from 8+ are invited to enter
Download Team Entry Form. Follow the instructions to send it. 
This is the teams' fundraising pages area. Please support the teams by making a donation! 
- John Hampden School
- Barley Hill School
- Thame Swimming Club
To participate is simple as 1-2-3:
1. Get a team of  4-6, complete Team Entry Form and send it to
2. Raise funds for charity
3. Swim for 1 h.
All ages from 8+ are invited to enter

Download here:

- Team Entry Form

To start your fundraising page:

  1. Start your fundraising page on Givey raising funds for Thame Rotary Club Trust Fund
  2. For support, please ring or text 07871 644 434


The event is possible due to generous local sponsors who kindly covered most of the costs: Thame Leisure Centre (Better), Aston Hearing Thame, Lucy Electric.

 How does Thame Swimathon Work? 

We are looking for teams of up to 6 swimmers.  Each team is given a lane of the pool and will swim for 55 minutes.  BUT ONLY ONE TEAM MEMBER SWIMS AT A TIME. 

On average this means that each swimmer does about 10-20 lengths during the 55 minutes, but there is no need for each team member to swim the same number of lengths.

Every team member gets sponsorship for the TEAM either by total number of lengths swum which can be up to 100 lengths or sponsorship can be a lump sum for taking part.


Who benefits?


Local charities and a Team’s chosen charity if one is put forward.

The swimmers have lots of fun trying to swim as many lengths and raise as much sponsorship as they can.

Who can take part?

Anyone over the age of 8 – Local Groups - Charities – Companies - Families – Friends – Churches – Offices – Shops –Scouts & Guides – Cubs & Brownies – Swimming Clubs – Health Clubs - Schools & Colleges – Policemen – Firemen – Paramedics – Nurses & Doctors – Businesses – Dentists



Each team member who swims will be given a commemorative medal and a certificate.


What does a Team do?
Before the Swimathon


The team captain needs to download the Team Entry Form, fill it in, scan or take a photo of it and submit it to thame, 

For any questions ring/Text on 07871 644 434

or e-mail:

Team Captain obtains allocated start time for Thame Swimathon from the Rotary Club of Thame and District.


Whilst a preferred start time can be requested on the Entry Form this cannot be guaranteed.

All teams attending Thame Swimathon in 2020 fundraised only online.

On the day of the Thame Swimathon

Before your swim

 Team turns up 45 minutes before their allocated start time. (Gather outside the Leisure Centre or inside and enter as a Team and go to the Thame Swimathon Welcome Area. Bring a £1.00 coin for your locker (returnable)

Those who still prefer cash fundraising bring sponsorship form(s) if you have not already handed them to your Team Captain. Please DO NOT bring your Sponsorship cash to the Swimathon

Captain of Team hands in copy of Entry Form and Team Sponsorship Forms.

Team waits for Entry Form and Sponsorship Forms to be checked

Once Entry Form and Sponsorship Forms are checked Team get changed.

Team assembles pool side 15 minutes prior to their allocated start time i.e. 45 minutes before the hour.

Team waits 10 minutes until previous group of swimmers have finished got out of the water and left the start/finish end of the pool.

Team splits 3 to each end of the pool and enter water. NO DIVING IS ALLOWED.

Team swims their lengths with one swimmer swimming at any one time

Have a great Swim!

 Your Team’s lengths will be recorded for you

 After your Swim

Exit the pool and receive medals on the way out of the pool area.

Teams change.

Team Captain goes to Registration and collects Certificates for each Entrant which will state Team Name and Lengths Swam by Team. Also the Team captain will receive a letter stating the amount pledged by the Team, being the total of all the Sponsorship Forms completed by the Team’s members and the Sponsorship Forms. 

After the Thame Swimathon

Individual Team Members collect their sponsorship forms from the Team Captain.

Team Members collect their sponsorship money.

Team Captain collects all Team Members sponsorship money and checks the total equals the amount pledged by the Team on the letter.

Charities Supported 

All Rotary nominated charities to be supported by this event are local to Thame and neighbouring villages.

The main Local Charities supported by this event are: Thame Youth Projects, Oxfordshire Mind and Cancer Research UK.

You have the option to fundraise for your preferred charity. See FAQ section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q.       Why should I get involved?

A.       Not only to raise vital funds for local much needed charities BUT to have lots of FUN being part of a great day


Q.  What types of teams enter?

A.  We have teams from schools, youth groups (eg Scouts), families, work colleagues, sports clubs, local businesses, charities and groups of friends.  Everyone is made very welcome, and they all leave with a great sense of achievement.  

Q.  How well do I have to be able to swim if I want to enter?

A.  All swimmers have to be safe in 3 ft water, but because you only swim one length at a time you don’t have to be especially strong, just confident.  You will be in the water for 55 minutes, but you will be resting between lengths. The whole team may swim about 100 lengths altogether, but if one of you is much stronger than the others, that person could swim more lengths than their team mates.  Taking part is what really matters.  

Q. Are Rotary in sole charge of the Event?

A. The activity within the Pool building is under the supervision and control of the Pool management at all times. Rotary Club of Thame is organising the Event.  

Q. Can children enter?

A: The minimum age for swimmers is eight years (at the time of the event). Children under sixteen years old need the consent of their parents or guardians or carers. In the case of School Teams, this may be arranged through the school, if the Rotary Club of Thame agrees in advance.  

Q. How are the supported charities chosen?

A. The Rotary Club of Thame chooses those local charities which in its view are most deserving of support.  As to the number of charities, we wish to make a worthwhile contribution to those that we support, but also to spread the benefit. Supporting up to five charities each year has seemed appropriate.   

Q. Can I fundraise for my preferred charity?

A. You have got the option to allocate 50% of your team’s money raised towards the charity of your choice or 100% towards Rotary’s charities. You can indicate this by ticking the appropriate option on the Team Entry Form. In both cases all moneys will be collected by Rotary Club of Thame which will apply for Gift Aid as appropriate. Once this process is completed, Rotary Club of Thame will make a donation towards the charity of your choice, should this option be taken.  

Q. Can I fundraise on line?

A. Yes. You can create your own fundraising page on Givey and then share the link with your family, friends, and colleagues asking them to donate online. Make sure you select Thame Rotary Club Trust Fund when settting up your fundraising page. Here is the link to Thame Rotary charity page:

Q. Can swimmers wear a wet suit type of costume?

A. Yes they can

Q. Do they need to wear swimming hats?

A. No they don't.

Q. Can they swim any stroke they like? Can they alternate strokes?

A. Yes, any style of swim is allowed: crawl, stroke, back stroke, butterfly etc. They can alternate the stroke at any time they like. They can swim any stroke they like, but only one swimmer swims at a time. Stronger swimmers might want to swim more, whilst others might want to rest more.   

To start you fundraising page:

  1. Instructions will follow after the new fundraising portal will be in place.

Thame Swimathon in the media in Jan 2020: Sign up of the Thame Swimathon!

Thame Hub in Jan 2020: Thame Swimathon Public Appeal for 10 teams

Thame Gazette on 15 Feb 2019: Call for last few swimmers to join Swimathon in Thame in Feb 2019: 4 more teams needed for Thame Swimathon

Thame Hub in Feb 2019: Thame Swimathon public appeal for 4 more teams

Thame Gazette on 7 January 2017: Join in with this year's Thame Swimathon on 6 December 2016: Challenge Yourself! The Thame Swimathon 2017

Thame Hub in December 2016: Thame Swimathon 2017

Mix 96 FM on 3 March 2016 -  34 Miles Swam at Thame Charity Event on 2 March 2016 - Swimmers Take the Plunge for Charity

Mix 96 FM on 28 Feb 2016 - Swimathon Returns to Thame on 24 Feb 2016: It’s time to support the teams for Thame Swimathon 2016! on 26 Jan 2016: Grab a free slot at The Thame Swimathon 2016!


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