The South African state school system, once on par with any country in the world, is today ranked last in the OECD rankings. This has created an opportunity, and need, for school to become commercialsed- schools have become big business in South Arica. Private school companies like Curro are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Private schools, and competant state schools, have built extravagant facilities and employ professional coaches to attract paying customers. The same has happened in the former Rhodesia - now Zimbabwe. Website like SA Schools Sports cater for this market, publishing results and rankings for various schools sports.The port-1994 professionaliztion of sport in South Africa, and the commercialization of schools, has led to a huge improvement in school sports.
Aquatic sports history at South African school level is mostly about swimming, with some diving, life saving and water polo, while pupils also participated in club competitions. In the last ten years the popularity of water polo has resulted in schools fielding 10 or more teams, and building a second school pool to satisfy the demand. Unlike rugby and cricket, swimming has traditionally flourished outside the school environment where local coaches had private squads and the amateur clubs organized galas, under the auspices of the provincial governing bodies, who in turn were part of SAASU.
Private and state schools have always contributed to the provincial schools teams for the annual national inter-schools championships. Each province has an inter-schools gala, from where teams are selected annually. In recent years schools swimming has been managed by Swim SA, and a national schools championship for ages 11-17 is held annually, which includes events for disabled swimmers. Click here to see the 2015 event program.
Our northern neighbours in Rhodesia also had a very active schools swimming scene, with teams competing in South Africa, and schools regularly touring there as well. Follow the link to see some of the many school teams and pools from Rhodesia - some still exist and thrive today. At times a national inter-provincial schools championships was held - at both Primary School and High School level.
There is no record of contact with Portuguese Mozambique at this level.
In the past, many schools have held an annual school gala, which often included events from the provincial championships. Both Primary and High schools inter-provincial galas have been held at various times, and today a combined event is (sometimes) held.
Various schools swimming teams have toured overseas - to England, Israel and Taiwan, with individual schools water polo teams also sending pupils to compete abroad. Most of the history related to these events are unrecorded.
South African schools swimming by Province
|Transvaal||Eastern Province||Griqualand West|
|Western Transvaal||Western Province||South West Africa|
|Eastern Transvaal||Border||Orange Free State|
Transvaal team in the march past at SA Primary Schools swimming championships in Bloemfontein 1975.
South African Primary Schools Swimming Championships
1967 - Pretoria
1968 - Kimberley
1971 - Bloemfontein
1972 - Bloemfontein
1973 - Bloemfontein
South African High Schools Swimming Championships
1974 - Kimberley
1976 - Cape Town
1977 - Boksburg
1982 - Durban
South African schools water polo tournament
1980 - SA Schools water polo - Cape Town
Articles on some South African swimming schools:
Eunice GHS - Bloemfontein
King Edward VII KES - Johannesburg
Grey High - Port Elizabeth
SA Senior schools - 1975