Swimming in Schools
In 1892 the N.Z.A.S.A. approached the Minister of Education with the suggestion that swimming should be recognised as an alternative to physical drill in New Zealand schools. The Association offered to train swimming instructors and award proficiency certificates in swimming and lifesaving. In 1899 the Government agreed to make a small annual grant to subsidise the cost of printing the certificates. Over the years the Association has taught many thousands of young people to swim and has expanded its national championships to cater for schoolboys and girls who have thus been induced to take up the sport. In addition the New Zealand swimming champions have undertaken educational tours on many occasions.
The centres held schoolboy championships for the first time in 1907. These proved so successful that, in the following year, events for schoolgirls were added. During the First World War, when the national championships had to be abandoned, the N.Z.A.S.A. established national junior (under 14 years) boys' and girls' championships. These were first competed for in February 1917 at Wellington.