Swim England

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150 years of swimming in England

In 2019 Swim England celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Find out how the first national governing body for swimming developed by expanding the timelines below.

1860 – 1899

1860
Brighton SC founded – the club with the longest recorded continuous existence in England.

1869
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.

1870
The organisation was renamed The Metropolitan Swimming Association.

1873
Another name change, this time to the Swimming Association of Great Britain (SAGB).

1884
Amateur Swimming Union (ASU) formed following a disagreement with the SAGB over the definition of ‘amateur’.

1886
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.

1887
Queen Victoria consents to be the patron of The Amateur Swimming Association.

1888
National Water Polo Championships begin.

1892
The Amateur Swimming Association’s International Committee issues first codified rules for Water Polo.

1893
The Amateur Swimming Association issues its first Handbook.

1899
Inauguration of the first Professional Certificate for Teachers of Swimming.

1900 – 1999

1935
The Amateur Diving Association dissolved itself and Diving became part of The Amateur Swimming Association.

1952
The Amateur Swimming Association elects its first woman President.

1953
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.

1953
Her Majesty The Queen becomes Patron of The Amateur Swimming Association.

1956
Long distance swimming gathered popularity with the formation of the British Long Distance Swimming Association which affiliated quickly with The Amateur Swimming Association.

1960
Learn to Swim Awards created.

1962
Survival Awards created.

1964
The Amateur Swimming Association set up a specialist Synchronised Swimming committee.

1970
Norman Sarsfield became the first employee of The Amateur Swimming Association as Secretary.

1972
First National Swimming Age-Group Championships held and first ever Masters event in Britain held (organised by Otter SC).

1973
The Amateur Swimming Association headquarters moved to Harold Fern House in Loughborough.

1981
Masters Swimming was introduced at national level.

1982
The Amateur Swimming Association became a registered company.

1996
Open Water Swimming was first included in the Olympics.

2000 –

2008
The Amateur Swimming Association re-branded to the ASA.

2009
Open Water Championships first held at Rother Valley.

2010
The ASA moved to its current home at SportPark on the Loughborough University campus.

2014
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.

2017
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.

2018
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.

2019
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

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