Hatfield swimmers to take the plunge as schoolboy launches charity
- Credit: Archant
A schoolboy who has set up his own charity to help make sport more accessible will be in at the deep end tomorrow when Hatfield Swimming Club members take part in a sponsored swim.
Ahaan Saini's Anand Charity aims to support children in India so they have the same opportunities that he enjoys, with the family's original home city of Belgaum to benefit from the club-wide swim.
The 15-year-old, who swims seven days a week at Hatfield, said: "Our first project is to provide financial aid to national swimmers in the small city of Belgaum, enabling them to buy approved tech suits for competitions.
"By raising just £35 we can provide an approved racing tech suit for a swimmer, enabling them to continue in the sport and compete to their full potential."
Originally conceived as a school project, Ahaan has put a lot of effort into meeting competition swimmers in India who have dropped out.
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He found that many of them cannot afford swimsuits or receive the nutritional advice they need to compete anymore - something Ahaan wants to change.
His mum Poornima Kirloskar-Saini said she is so proud of her son for organising this swim.
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"In India parents have to choose between their kids studies and swimming," Poornima said.
She explained this project would also be extended to sports clubs in other developing countries, who are most in need of kit and equipment.
"I probably will also help more when he goes to college," she said - as she is aware that Ahaan wants to make the charity sustainable and something he can carry forward in the future.
Hatfield Swimming Club - which has trained Olympic swimmers - is also backing Ahaan in his quest to raise funds for the young swimmers he met in Belgaum.
Tomorrow (Friday), every squad of the club will be taking part in a hour-long sponsored swim that will raise money to buy nutritional equipment and racing suits. Anyone can sponsor the swim, and you can find the form here on the club's website: hatfieldswimmingclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Sponsorship-form.pdf.
You can also donate via anandcharity.org. A donation of £10 would give children access to a nutritionist and a new diet for three months, £15 gets them a new pair of racing goggles and £35 would pay for a new tech racing suit.