150 years of swimming in England1 January 2019
In 2019 Swim England celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Find out how the first national governing body for swimming developed by expanding the timelines below.
Brighton SC founded – the club with the longest recorded continuous existence in England.
The first name for Swim England was the Associated Metropolitan Swimming Clubs which was formed by the coming together of London swim clubs at a congress held in the German gymnasium in king’s Cross, London. Later in the year, the name was changed to the London Swimming Association. Otter SC was also founded.
The organisation was renamed The Metropolitan Swimming Association.
Another name change, this time to the Swimming Association of Great Britain (SAGB).
Amateur Swimming Union (ASU) formed following a disagreement with the SAGB over the definition of ‘amateur’.
Agreement on the definition of ‘amateur’ reached between the SAGB and the ASU. This led to a reformation of the constitution and laws, thus creating The Amateur Swimming Association.
Queen Victoria consents to be the patron of The Amateur Swimming Association.
National Water Polo Championships begin.
The Amateur Swimming Association’s International Committee issues first codified rules for Water Polo.
The Amateur Swimming Association issues its first Handbook.
Inauguration of the first Professional Certificate for Teachers of Swimming.
The Amateur Diving Association dissolved itself and Diving became part of The Amateur Swimming Association.
The Amateur Swimming Association elects its first woman President.
Participation in early forms of synchronised swimming was first encouraged when The Amateur Swimming Association invited the USA Solo Synchronised Swimming Champion and the President of the Canadian Synchronised Swimming Association to tour the country.
Her Majesty The Queen becomes Patron of The Amateur Swimming Association.
Long distance swimming gathered popularity with the formation of the British Long Distance Swimming Association which affiliated quickly with The Amateur Swimming Association.
Learn to Swim Awards created.
Survival Awards created.
The Amateur Swimming Association set up a specialist Synchronised Swimming committee.
Norman Sarsfield became the first employee of The Amateur Swimming Association as Secretary.
First National Swimming Age-Group Championships held and first ever Masters event in Britain held (organised by Otter SC).
The Amateur Swimming Association headquarters moved to Harold Fern House in Loughborough.
Masters Swimming was introduced at national level.
The Amateur Swimming Association became a registered company.
Open Water Swimming was first included in the Olympics.
The Amateur Swimming Association re-branded to the ASA.
Open Water Championships first held at Rother Valley.
The ASA moved to its current home at SportPark on the Loughborough University campus.
British Swimming became a separate organisation dedicated to supporting elite athletes from across the UK. The ASA continued to focus on supporting young people and adults to learn how to swim and achieve the most out of swimming through club and recreational swimming.
The ASA re-branded to Swim England. Council members voted in favour of incorporation and a new Limited Company, with charitable status, was formed: The Amateur Swimming Association (Swim England) Limited. His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge takes over the Swim England patronage from HRH The Queen.
A joint submission by Swim England and British Swimming leads the two organisations to become the first national governing bodies to be awarded the Advanced Level Equality Standard for Sport.
Swim England celebrates 150 years as the first national governing body for swimming.
For more information or to submit additional information please email SwimEngland150@swimming.org.