In 1958 British Olympic champion Judy Grinham visited South Africa, and competed in the SA Championships held in East London as a guest swimmer. In 1956 and 1958 Judy Grinham was elected Great Britain's Sportswoman of the Year; she was the first woman from the United Kingdom in 32 years to win an Olympic swimming gold medal. Grinham won the 220 yards freestyle, and came second in the 110 yard event behind Natalie Myburgh.
Also competing at the event was Natalie Steward and Lenie de Nijs. Steward, born in Pretoria but now living in Rhodesia, went on to set a world record and win two medals for Britian at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, while the Dutch woman set world records in backstroke and freestyle in 1955-1957. Swimming for Eastern Transvaal, Lenie de Nijs won five events at the 1958 South African national swimming championships in East London.