The West’s Past – National Age Group Swimming Championships

Extracted from “100 Years of Scottish Swimming” – Peter Bilsborough (1988)

The first National Age-Group Championships took place in 1964.
Jock Coutts, the S.A.S.A. Secretary, was the driving force behind their introduction.
Initially, the S.A.S.A. Council was not too enthusiastic about establishing age-group events but Coutts was determined to have his idea accepted. He argued that they would help to improve the quality of Scottish swimming by providing those who were too young to achieve qualifying times for the existing national championships with vital competitive experience and also increase the number of youngsters passing from junior to senior competition.
Council finally agreed to support the idea and asked him to organise a trial competition for 1964.
Each District was asked to arrange a gala to find the fastest five swimmers for each stroke in two age groups. The winners went forward to the first national finals which were held in Edinburgh during February 1965.
The Championships were formalised in the following month. For the first official Championships in 1965 there were five age groups: 10 years and under, 11, 12, 13,14.
Each District ran preliminary heats and the finals were held in Glasgow. There were 718 entries.
Coutts was delighted with the response.
He was convinced that good age-group competitions would help to improve competitive standards.

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