Posted by on 10th July 2017

Clara Jarvis (1883-1940)

In 1912, when female swimming and diving events were first included in the Olympic programme, the British team was accompanied to Stockholm by two women, including Clara Jarvis, a swimming teacher who was instructress to the Leicester, Loughborough, Burton, Coventry and Hinckley Ladies’ swimming clubs. She held the RLSS Diploma and the ASA professional certificate (number 73), making her as qualified as any male professional, and the ASA report following Stockholm commended Clara, effectively the first female British Olympic coach in any sport, for discharging her duties ‘in the most capable manner’.


Source: Sketch, Wednesday 24 July 1912, 28.

Author Bio.

Professor Dave Day (Manchester Metropolitan University, @natationist) and Margaret Roberts (Independent Researcher and editor Playing Pasts magazine, see – and Twitter @Playing_Pasts) collaborate on uncovering the hidden histories of nineteenth and early twentieth century female swimmers and coaches.

Posted in: Swimming