Harrow School: Sports--Swimming

Figure 1.--This drawing was published in the 'The Graphic'. This was a popular British illustrated Weekly newspaper. This drawing was in the July 17, 1886. The drawing was captioned, 'The swimming races at Harrow'. We do not know the context of this drawing. The drawing fills up the whole page. 'The Graphic' commonly carried items about sport activities.

Harrow School now has a modern 25-meter swimming pool. We are not sure when swimming was added to the sports program at Harrow. Most people did not know how to swim until the 19th century. Water and bathuing wasn't considered healthy. Of course in Britain with the cold water this is somewhastt understandable, but this was a general attitude throughout WEurope. This did not begin to change until the late-18th century. This included Royal Navy sailors. We know swimming was being taught at public schools by the 19th century. This included Harrow. Boys at Harrow and rgw think the other public schools used to swim nude in their outdoor and indoor pools. This was apparently common at British schools. At Harrow this continued into the 1980s. At that time some housemasterís wife complained that the housemasterís wives and daughters were prohibited from using the pools. As a result the policy was changed.


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Created: 8:15 PM 9/2/2010
Last updated: 8:15 PM 9/2/2010