Salisbury


The South African championships, where Rhodesia competed as a province, were held in Salisbury for the first time in 1922.

Salisbury has a number of municipal swimming pools, many of which still exist today (2019).

The first swimming club in Rhodesia was the Pirates club, which celebrated its centenary in 2015. Other competitive swimming clubs in Salisbury included Mabelreign (coaches Frank and Lillian Parrington), Seals, Otters, Vikings, Tiger Fish, Cranbourne, Chisipite and Greendale.

There were also a number of Rhodesian schools that excelled in aquatic sports. The Rhodesian schools water polo team dominated South African schools in the late 1970's.

Salisbury Schools

Salisbury, now called Harare, sits on one of the higher parts of the Highveld plateau at an elevation of 1,483 metres. The average high in summertime is 26 degrees Celsius and the climate sub-tropical.

Partly as a result of the climate, and also to the British character of the schools, many primary and high schools in Salisbury had their own swimming pools and actively participated in competitve aquatic sports. While all the top swimming schools in Zimbabwe are private schools today, that was not the case in the old Rhodesia, was Franklin D. Roosevelt were the top girls schools. Photo below. Unfortunately both of those girls schools no longer have functioning swimming pools.

After 1980 the post-liberation change in demographics at state schools had led to the demise of aquatic sports in those schools, and a change in management priorities resulted in less money being spent on maintaining swimming pools.

Salisbury Municipal Swimming Pools

The venerable Les Brown pool in the city centre - below. In 2013 there were 13 swimming pools which are being run by the City Council are all working: Les Brown (below), Avondale, Highlands, Mabelreign, Greendale, George Hartley, Arcadia, Waterfalls, Mufakose, Cranborne, Hatfield and Highfield swimming pools. Most notable municipal facility is the derelict Chitungwiza Aquatic Centre, built for the 1995 All Africa Games.