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History of North Ramsgate Amateur Swimming Club


The club was formed after a meeting of young men met in the Hillview St, Ramsgate home of Mr R Evans in September 1932.

Naming the club and choosing officials

It decided on the name North Ramsgate to distinguish it from the Ramsgate Life Saving and Swimming Club, which operated from Ramsgate Beach. The first panel of officials included R Evans (President), “Wally” Kirsop (Secretary), B Sear, H Fleming, B Watson W Corbett H Donegan and J McIlroy.

Ramsgate Baths and international visitors

In 1932, Ramsgate Baths, run by the Pemberton Family, had only been opened a few years and was a swimming complex considered state of the art in pool design and the most modern in the Sydney metropolitan area. Ramsgate Baths attracted international visitors and the world wonder swimmer “Boy” Charlton had many meetings with internationally renowned swimmers at the baths.

This gave the Club a very good start, as interest in the sport accelerated.

Early Membership and Training

Over the first few years, membership climbed steadily and swimming standards gradually improved. “Johnny” Weissmuller’s book had a wealth of information about training and technique, which was quickly put into practice by the Club members and officials.

Champions Excel

In the early years the NRASC juniors had a team in the 5 x 110 yards Junior Relay which broke the State Record. Garth Cooper won the Australian 110 yards Freestyle Championship and Doug Black was the first Australian to get down to 27 seconds for 55 yards (defeating the Australian Olympic representative Bill Kendall). Reg Clarke also represented Australia at the Empire Games.

After the war years

Bruce Bourke swam with St George and North Ramsgate Clubs immediately after the war, when striving for a place in the Australian Team for the Olympic Games, became the ‘first’ Australian to break 60 seconds for 110 yards.

Garry Chapman cut his ‘swimming teeth’ in the North Ramsgate Club. His performances as a juvenile in the club showed him to be a natural champion while Neville Hayes started on his career in the Juvenile section of the club, before joining a larger club. Another North Ramsgate champion, Alan Wood, represented Australia at the Rome Olympic Games in distance freestyle events.

Changing race meeting location – 1968

The club lost one of its greatest supporters with the death of the owner of the baths, Mr Pemberton, in 1968.

The Ramsgate Baths closed in 1970 and the North Ramsgate Club transferred to the Sans Souci Olympic Pool.

Move to Kogarah War Memorial Pool at Carss Park – 2001

In October 2001 (2001 / 2002 Season), the Club was welcomed to the Carss Park Olympic Pool by Dick Caine, where it is still currently conducting race programs each Sunday morning, during the summer period, in a ‘family’ atmosphere.

Return to Sans Souci Olympic Pool – 2019

With the closure of the Carss park, Kogarah War Memorial Pool, by the Georges River Council, the NRASC arranged to swim at Sans Souci Pool for the summer swim season 2019-2020. The season turned out to be disrupted, first by an equipment failure of the pool pump/filter and towards the end of the season by the Civid-19 pandemic taking hold around the world.

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