Back in the early 60s some members of the Parents Committee of the Tuart Hill Senior High School (now Tuart College) decided that what the High School needed was their own swimming pool. A sub-committee was formed with the dual purpose of raising funds for the project and pushing for Education Department, Shire and Government approval.The Committee was so successful that by the start of the 1962-63 season not only was the pool built, ready and almost paid for but the "Tuart Hill Senior High School Amateur Swimming Club" was formed and functioning.
The inaugural president was Mr. Neil "Bluey" Gurner a member of the original organising committee, who after a few years at the helm handed over the presidency to another member of the original committee, Mr. Bill Meakins. During Bill's time as president the club progressed from a reasonably performed swim club to one of the most respected and high quality clubs in the state. A situation that successive office holders have striven to emulate.
The uplift in competitive class at Tuart Hill was accelerated by an unfortunate upheaval at the neighbouringYokine Swim Club. This incident saw professional swim coach Ray Pitcher who was a teacher at Tuart Hill High
School transfer his swim squad from Yokine to Tuart Hill Swim Club. Ray continued as coach of the elite swimmers of the club for many years. In an ironic twist many years later when Ric Turner who had taken over the coaching of many of the top swimmers at Tuart Hill, left with his swimmers to the newly formed and now very successful Carine Swim Club. This was an unfortunate episode in the club's history because at that time strong endeavours were made for an amalgamation of both Tuart Hill and Carine. At the time this was seen as very benefical by many to the ongoing development of both clubs, but it did not eventuate.
Saturday morning "Learn to Swim Classes" commenced at the pool in the 1965-66 season and from a very small beginning it mushroomed by 1968 to four sets of 45 minute classes every Saturday morning during the summer season. Each Saturday some 250 youngsters were taught water safety skills and how to swim by volunteer club members, most of these volunteers our very own swimmers.
The club and the community is eternally grateful to these people who over the years have helped teach some 5000 youngsters to swim. One of the highlights of the involvement of the learn to swim is to see some years later someone who has been through the classes, progressed to club, state and Australian class as competitors. Tuart Hill Club has had many that fit this category.
A well known wheelchair athelete, Louise Sauvage learnt to swim at Tuart Hill and later became almost unbeatable on the track from 100m to 42km marathon at the Paralympics held in conjunction with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA.
The first swimmer selected from the club to represent Western Australia was breaststroke specialist Peter Sawyer in the mid to late 1960s. Some few years later he was followed by an avalanche of state representatives through to the 70s, 80s and into the 90s.
These included swimmers of the calibre of John Kulasalu, the 1974 Commonwealth Games 400m freestyle gold medalist and many time Australian Open and age group champion. Barry Armstrong, the Australian 100m Butterfly Champion who was a controversial omission from the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games but was chosen to represent Australia at the 1986 Games in Edinburgh. Barry was a product of the club's learn to swim programmeas were his sisters Erin and Kelly both of whom represented the state at the Australian Championships.
Shelley Taylor was a prolific state medallist and record holder in backstroke and distance freestyle events. Over the years Shelley was successful at Australian age group championships and represented the state with honour. Her development as a marathon swimmer saw her progress to the undisputed position of number one in the world in women's distance events and held most of the world records in open water swimming.
Other names that spring readily to mind who have successfully represented the Tuart Hill Club and the state are Gavin Cotterell (boy's captain for a record 4 years spanning the 1972-73 season to 1975-76). Dinah, Jayne and Kath Kearsley all three spending time as club captain and representing successfully at interclub and state championships. Steven Franklin, Wayne Dohmen, Beverley Hicks, Ailsa and Deirdre Bratton, Gary Mathieson, Jamie Kearsley, Elizabeth and Stephen Burn, Robert and Margaret Masolini, David and Fiona Raven (who had a leading part in the development coaching of the 1998 Commonwealth Games 100m breaststroke gold medallist Helen Denman), Michael and Lyle Cubbage, Murray and Robin Hatton and many many others.