LGBT Masters Aquatics Club

Out to Swim (‘OTS’) aims to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment to all its members.
All members are encouraged to participate in swimming and water polo competitions as a means of furthering team spirit, advancing individual swimming and water polo skills and fostering personal growth. Recognising the diversity of its membership, the Out to Swim Scholarship Fund (OTSSF) aims to address financial barriers which might prevent individuals from joining the club or hinder the active participation of all its members.

The OTS Scholarship Fund (OTSSF) exists to:

  • subsidise the cost of individuals attending competitions as part of the OTS Team,
  • subsidise or waive OTS membership fees, and
  • operate on behalf of both OTS London and OTS South members.

We are very grateful for the bequest made by Graham Perlman, a long time supporter of Out to Swim from the early days, which is specifically intended "to provide financial support for swimmers with HIV who would otherwise have financial difficulty in swimming with the Club or taking part in the Club's activities". Graham sadly died in 2007.

About this Guidance Note

By submitting an application to the Scholarship Fund the applicant agrees to be bound by the version of this Guidance Note in force at the time of application, and by any other conditions which the OTSSF has communicated to the applicant.
The OTS committee reserves the right to amend this Guidance Note at any time and will provide notice to all OTS members of such amendment.

Confidentiality

Given the sensitivity of personal financial matters, the confidentiality of Scholarship Fund applicants is paramount. For this reason, details provided during the application process, including the name of the applicant, will only be made available to the OTSSF application committee. The Chair, Vice-chair, Treasurer and the internal communications officer will also have access to some or all applicant information by virtue of their committee roles. In particular, the OTSSF committee may seek the advice of the Chair and/or Vice-chair at any time.

For applications made to support competition costs, the OTSSF committee may consult with the Head Coach (swimming), the water polo coach or the synchronised swimming coach in order to assess the appropriateness of the events you intend to enter (for competition support) or generally.
Each applicant’s details will not be shared any further without the express consent of the applicant or unless the terms of reference for the scholarship fund, as set out in this Guidance Note, are deemed by the OTSSF to have been breached by the applicant.

The OTSSF application committee is appointed by the OTS committee and made up of four OTS members from both the swimming (London and Brighton) and water polo teams. For reasons of discretion, the membership of the OTSSF committee is not formally publicised in general club documents.
The OTSSF committee reports to the OTS committee but application statistics shared with the OTS committee are provided anonymously. An exception to this would be where there is a dispute or complaint from an applicant in which case certain information may need to be shared with the OTS committee in order to reach fair resolution.

Use of Scholarship Funds

Competitions:
Scholarship Funds may be used to cover the costs associated with attending and participating in a specific competition. These costs primarily include:

  • registration fees,
  • accommodation,
  • travel, and
  • subsistence.

The fund is open to all current OTS members whose current financial situation makes it difficult to attend OTS focus competitions. Applications are only open for major OTS competitions, as determined by the Head Coach and the Committee.

Membership Fees

OTS currently has a low wage membership option, details of which can be found here. We would expect our concession low wage rates to provide sufficient financial relief for most of our members. However, we recognise that in exceptional circumstances individual members may not be able to meet these costs. In such instances, application may be made to the OTSSF to reduce or eliminate the low wage membership fee on a temporary or longer-term basis. Such application would be made for a specific period agreed by the OTSSF and would normally only be provided to members who have already demonstrated their commitment to the club or who are prevented from the club because of financial constraints but are able to demonstrate a willingness and ability to participate fully in the club.

Successful applicants should notify the OTSSF immediately if their financial circumstances change such that they are either able to meet the low wage membership fees without further relief from the scholarship fund or they earn more than the low-waged limit.

Award of a Scholarship

The award of a scholarship is entirely at the discretion of the OTSSF Committee. The use of any awarded funds must be for the purpose stated in the application and once an award is made it may not be exchanged or used for any other purpose, except where express permission is granted by the OTSSF Committee.

The OTSSF Committee may, as a condition of granting the scholarship, require copies of receipts for money spent. If not all of the scholarship is spent then any surplus should be returned. If the applicant chooses not to attend a competition (other than due to serious illness or other unavoidable event) then the OTSSF Committee may require the applicant to repay the scholarship.

The inappropriate use of funds may result in the rescinding of the award and ineligibility for all future OTSSF applications and, possibly, suspension from the club.

All applicants are expected to exercise discretion and not communicate either the level or nature of their award, or details of their application, to other club members; as doing so could put certain other club members in difficult or compromising positions and may compromise the impartiality of the OTSSF Committee.

Complaints/ Disputes

In case of any complaint or dispute from an applicant, which the OTSSF feels unable to deal with or for which no resolution can be reached within a reasonable period of time, the OTSSF Committee may notify the main OTS committee of the circumstances of the complaint and ask it to resolve the dispute or deal with the complaint. This process may require certain confidential information to be revealed to the OTS committee. The applicant will be informed of this and will be given an opportunity to make representations to the OTS committee in writing. An applicant may invoke the club’s complaints procedure at any time.
The decision of the OTS committee in cases of complaint or dispute is final, and will be relayed to the applicant via the OTSSF or the Chair of OTS.

The applicant is not entitled to copies of any internal meeting notes or details of any deliberations of the OTSSF Committee or the OTS committee (as the case may be) relating to the application (or any other application for that matter).

Termination of Scholarship Fund

The OTS committee reserves the right to terminate the Scholarship Fund at any time, and notice will be given to all members to that effect.

In case of termination of the scholarship fund, all monies remaining in the fund will be released and made available for general club use in accordance with the club’s constitution.

The OTS committee cannot guarantee that any future funds will be made available to top-up the Scholarship Fund or that any on-going support can be maintained continuously or for the period originally envisaged.

Applying for a Scholarship

All completed applications will be considered by the OTSSF Committee after the closing date in the case of specific competitions; otherwise at the OTSSF Committee’s discretion.

When assessing an application, consideration will be taken as to an applicant’s commitment to the club, how regularly they attend sessions and their commitment to training, etc. Other factors may also be taken into account, either at the direction of the Committee or the OTSSF Committee’s discretion.

For competitions, please note that:

  • Funding is designed to cover a percentage of costs. Applicants will be expected to cover some associated costs.
  • Applicants are asked whenever possible to use low cost alternatives such as hosted housing or shared accommodation and economical travel such as car-pooling, bus travel, cheap flights, etc.
  • The fund is not designed to aid people with non-competition related expenses. For instance, a holiday should not be added to a competition.

To apply for assistance with membership fees please click here.

To apply for assistance to attend a competition please click here.

Any questions?

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