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Otters welcome Dolphins for CalMac Challenge

Young swimmers from Islay and Jura joined local swimmers in Oban for the 'CalMac Swim Challenge'.

All in all 57 swimmers from the Islay and Jura Dolphins and the Oban Otters swim clubs took part in the meet at the Atlantis Leisure centre

Miranda Barkham, Vice-chair, Oban Otters Amateur Swimming said:   'The visit from the Islay and Jura Dolphins allowed our local swimmers to see the sociable side of being involved in sport. We also invited any keen swimmers from Oban's "Learn to Swim" programme to take part. They attended in great number and gave some of the most spirited performances of the day.

Oban otters

'The lasting impact of the CalMac challenge has been substantial. Younger swimmers from Learn to Swim have been inspired to continue on to join the local swimming club because they can see the benefit of doing so.  More experienced swimmers have been able to see that swimming and sport in general can be a way to make new friends.'

The day was made possible through the support of CalMac's Community Fund. Last year the Fund was designed to create new opportunities for young people by supporting non-profit youth organisations based in a mainland port or island the company serves. Organisations applied for an award between £500 to £2000.

So far the Fund has supported 76 projects from woman's football in the Outer Hebrides, to the Campbeltown Sea Cadets and a Gaelic youth club on Skye. Each application was judged by a screening panel of young people recruited from across the company's network, in partnership with Young Scot.

'A key part of the Community Fund's aims is to open up opportunities for island and coastal young people that they would otherwise not have access to. Bringing together these swim clubs to help improve their swimming technique and meet young people with similar interests from other communities is exactly what the Fund is for, creating new opportunities to help young people in our communities broaden their horizons,' said CalMac's Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Gordon McKillop.

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