Chinese Swimming Club
Around 1909, six young Chinese men gathered to meet regularly on Sunday weekends to swim in the sea off Marine Parade. The group had a summer bungalow house called the “Belmont” which was used as a retreat before and after their swimming outings. These young men were influential in their respective field of work and they decided to rally under their adopted name of “The Tanjong Katong Swimming Party (TKSP)”.
As membership in their group began to grow, it was decided that their party take the new name of “The Chinese Swimming Club (CSC)”. At this juncture the group of six had swelled to well over 100 members, resulting in a move to a beach site at the Chapel Road area.
In the early 1920’s, the CSC relocated to its current premises at Amber Road in Tanjong Rhu. This was made possible by the generosity of well-known member of the Chinese community, Mr Lee Choon Guan who offered the use of his bungalow for the clubs premises. Minor renovations were then undertaken to convert it to an ideal clubhouse.
The history of competitive swimming and waterpolo in Singapore today is inextricably tied to the achievements of several personalities who were, and still are, members of the CSC.
A point to note is that swimming and water polo activities took place in the open sea off present day Marine Parade. It was only in 1939 that the CSC had its own swimming pool. At the same time, the original bungalow was also demolished to make way for a new clubhouse.
The end of the 1940’s heralded further expansion for the CSC. By pooling its resources, the club’s members were then able to acquire its present site along Amber Road where a clubhouse and a full-sized Olympic swimming pool was completed in 1951.
The club continued to win its impressive amount of medals throughout the 1950s to the late 1970s. On 14 Deccember 1979 they marked another milestone in the club’s history; the official opening ceremony of the club’s spanking new $5 million sports complex - apart from the refurbished Olympic-sized pool, two tennis and two squash courts, a basketball court and a gymnasium which doubled-up as a badminton hall graced its premises.
Today, the Chinese Swimming Club continues its proud tradition of being a center for the nurturing of young swimming talents while at the same time catering to the needs of its varied members.