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News > Dukie News > Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool

All boys were expected to swim and prove it by passing these tests
12 Mar 2024
Dukie News
Swimming Certificates from the 1958-59 period
Swimming Certificates from the 1958-59 period

You are probably aware that there is an appeal to raise cash from the alumni network to carry out essential repairs to the School swimming pool.

It got me thinking back to my first year in Kitchener in 1958. For those of you who do not remember the layout of the of the pool area, at the deep end there were fixed diving boards of 4 feet and 6 feet high. There was also a springboard. It's remarkable to think how privileged we were to have such an asset as schools from around Kent used to arrive in coach-loads to make use of it. Today it is still in demand and is an important source of revenue for the school.

A length was 28 yards. (25.6 m). On entry to the pool from the road we went upstairs to a balcony that ran round the pool. It was here, in the open, we got changed. There were also goal and nets suspended at each end for use in waterpolo games. I can recall an incident when a class of sixth formers had been allowed to run into the pool from the inside entrance after they had completed their gym lesson. They stripped off their PT kit and whilst naked jumped into the pool. However on the balcony, there was a girls' school getting changed for their swimming lessons. I think that brought an end to such events happening again.

As a “newchie” I was told it was essential that I obtained the standard school swimming certificate by the end of the first term or else we would lose points in our quest to win the school swimming shield. It took me to nearly the end of the term to gain the certificate.

We were required to swim 60 yards freestyle, 30 yards backstroke and jump or dive from 6 feet. 

I took the test with only five days left of the term and thankfully I passed. 

It was expected that all pupils would be able to complete the school swimming proficiency test in the second year, and on the 15th of November 1959. I got my certificate showing that I could cover four lengths breaststroke, four backstroke, and four lfreestyle. I also had to dive from the 6 foot board and do a running spring board dive and do a surface dive. I think we had to retrieve a brick from the floor of the pool.

Later, on like many, I went on to do my bronze medallion in lifesaving. The pool was a great source of enjoyment, and like many others I played water polo and did some diving for the school.

Some of you may remember in the early 60s proficient swimmers/lifesavers often did duty on weekends and some may remember leaving the odd window unlatched which enanled us to go on some midnight swims.

Just to remind you what the certificates were like I've attached a couple of images.

If this little note has stirred your memories and you would like to donate to the pool fund, I'm sure it would be most welcome.


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