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About Us - History

Swimming has been around since the days of cavemen and dinosaurs, with prehistoric drawings found in the “Cave of Swimmers” near Wadi Sora, in Egypt. Written references to swimming date back to 2000 B.C. and was a sport practised by many ancient nations including the Greeks and Japanese Samurai.

In the Middle Ages swimming was a sport taken up by knights and it was in 1538 that Nicolas Wynman, a German professor, wrote the first book on swimming entitled “Colymbetes.” Wynman’s aim was not to promote swimming as a sport, but to reduce the dangers of drowning.

Although Swimming Bay of Plenty haven’t been around quite as long, it is also our aim to promote swimming as an essential life skill, one that you can enjoy as you learn.

The original Bay of Plenty centre, NZASA, was formed in 1936 with patron Mr C H Burnett, president Mr Tai Mitchell and secretary Mr Les Clarke. Six clubs were affiliated – Waihi, Te Puke, Tauranga, Rotorua, Ohinemutu and Whakarewarewa.

During the second World War from 1941 to 1946, the centre was affiliated as a sub-centre to the South Auckland centre. In 1947 the Bay of Plenty centre was reformed and given full centre status from NZASA. Seventy-eight pounds was handed back to the centre, money which represented the accumulated profit for the sub-centre during its existence.

It was decided then that the official colours of the centre would be grey with black stripes, which was later changed to silver grey and maroon. In 2005, the present colours of blue and gold were adopted.

At the time of the 50th reunion in 1986, there were 20 clubs affiliated to the Bay of Plenty centre. Currently there are 9 clubs, Evolution Aquatics Tauranga, Kawerau, Liz van Welie Aquatics,  Mt Maunganui,  Papamoa, Swim Rotorua, Te Arawa, Taupo,  and Whakatane. 

The work of the Bay of Plenty region has been managed by many hard-working, dedicated and long-serving members and officials who have taken part in regional, inter-regional, national and international meets. It is the work of these committed and volunteers and our athletes that bring credit to the Bay of Plenty region, striving together towards the same goal, bringing the joy of swimming to everyone.

More than 80 years later our goal is the same and the passion just as strong, as we invite you all to join us here, at Swimming Bay of Plenty.