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Ripley Amateur Swimming Club and Life Savers (RASCALS) is based in Derbyshire,
England and is home to approximately 350 club members. RASCALS was founded in
1973 by Frank Mansey whose primary desire was to teach as many people as
possible to find pleasure in, and be safe in and around water. Soon after
RASCALS was founded, Frank noticed that there was an increase in requests for
the Club to host Life Saving lessons. Lifesaving training was then hosted every
Friday evening until it became one of the regular Club activities alongside
teaching and competitive swimming.
As it stands today, the original goal remains the same as RASCALS provides
swimming training to anyone from the age of 5 and up and from here the members
can develop through various levels of swimming to acquire skills such as diving
and tumble turns, and develop their stamina by swimming longer distances.
Members are also encouraged to compete in various galas, and the Club enters a
variety of competitions against other clubs in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and
across the country.
RASCALS also continues to provide and facilitate lifesaving training to any
swimmers interested in diversifying their swimming skills. Both disciplines
have produced swimmers and coaches who have variously achieved County, National
and International status.
According to the current Chairman, Tom Parr, RASCALS has always been known as a
“family Club” that encourages close communication and interaction between
members. In order to ensure that the Clubs communication is both personal and
effective, it was decided to use SMS text messaging as their primary
RASCALS started using the BulkSMS.com web platform in 2009 and has found that
SMS messaging is the easiest and most efficient way to communicate with their
members. According to Tom, “information on noticeboards, website and by email
all rely on some effort being made to access it. We started using the BulkSMS
service when our local primary school started using an SMS system and found
that parents virtually always have their phones with them and do read the text
The Club’s use of SMS includes notifying members about swimming and lifesaving
events, outstanding payments, pool closures and general Club information. A
feature of SMS that Tom particularly appreciates is the fact that he can let
members know of any important information at short notice, ensuring that all
members are informed of impromptu changes that may require them to reschedule
their plans for the day.
“In adopting SMS text messaging, RASCALS has optimised the management of Club
communications to ensure that important information is delivery timeously to
members,” says Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director at BulkSMS.com. “Making
SMS text messaging work for the Club adds a further level of community service
to the important work they are undertaking in ensuring water safety and
swimming competency among children”.