City of Chester Swimming & Water Polo Club is Chester’s oldest established Swimming Club. Beginning its days as ‘The Chester Amateur Swimming Club’. The club was formed in 1894 in the River Dee, before progressing to a floating bath on the river. In 1901, the Victorian Chester City Baths opened, designed by John Douglas. Now, a Grade 2 listed building this historical pool would remain our home to this day. Chester City Baths is 120 years old and one of the oldest swimming baths in the UK. If your family roots are in the Chester area, chances are your grandparents and their grandparents learned to swim at Chester City baths.
City of Chester Swimming & Water Polo Club has a long and magnificent history of successes both in swimming and water polo. Within just a few years of the baths opening, the City of Chester Swimming club turned out its finest elite athlete. Wilf Edwards, did Chester proud by representing Great Britain in the 1908 Olympics in London. Our accomplished history is not limited to competition, we have equal success with our teaching and coaching. At City of Chester Swimming & Water Polo Club an aspiration for excellence is at the heart of all our practice. Since the club was founded in 1894, we have supported swimmers through all stages of their development in to athletes and throughout their many competitive feats; from county level through to Olympic standard.
In recent years, both the Club and the Baths have faced some serious challenges. A 2-year closure back in 2013 due to catastrophic, structural damage resulted in us having to find alternative facilities at a detrimental cost to both our finances and our members. After returning to our historical home in 2016, we worked extensively to reverse the affects the 2-year closure had and rebuild a Club and community hub that had become a shadow of its former self.
Four years on, come March 2020, the world had its feet knocked from under it as COVID-19 put us in to a National Lockdown. As a non-profit organisation housed in a historical pool with all its trials and tribulations, the last year has not been about coping but surviving and the reality is City of Chester Swimming & Water Polo Club are in danger of disappearing with out the funding we desperately need. Due to these exceptional circumstances, we now find ourselves in, we have decided to create this hardship fund to support the club’s considerable efforts to survive and rebuild during these unprecedented times of no activity and no income.
This fund will allow us to rebuild and secure our future as City of Chester Swimming & Water Polo Club and continue to provide worlds of opportunity in swimming and water polo for our future generations.
Chester City Baths has been the heart of swimming in Chester for 120 years. Help us to preserve this magnificent piece of Chester’s history and let’s hold on tight to our heritage.
All donations, regardless of size will be welcomed and most sincerely appreciated.
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