About Us

History of Penang Swimming Club

On a typically warm and sultry tropical day in 1903, a representative sample of young, energetic and sporty Europeans of the island of Penang decided that they should form a Swimming Club. With the tranquil and rustic beauty of the place well outside Georgetown at that time and the leisurely pace of life then, it was inevitable that the notion of such a club should arise and become a reality.

It was significant that the founders were a group of young Europeans. There was an archaic ruling that men who came out to the Far East (mostly straight out of school) to work, had to be bachelors and remain so for the first few years. These young men had nothing much to do after work and besides their natural love of sports, it was said that their womenfolk contrived the idea of exclusive European clubs to prevent their young bucks from straying.

The Club they founded by the sea would be something different from the stodgy Penang Club, or the intensely esoteric Turf Club or even the single-sport orientated Cricket Club. This would be a natural response to the island, with its irresistible sea and beaches. It would be more relaxed, more informal, more open and generally, just more fun. It would be perhaps the earliest club in the country devoted exclusively to the pursuit of sea sports amidst the ambience of what was then one of the most scenic stretches of the coast-line of Penang.