The first swimming carnival was held at Camberwell Pool in 1953. The records show that the Under 11,12,13 and 14 boys swam 25 yards and the opens swam 50 yards. Swimming was popular and a compulsory sport and as a result in under 12s there was A,B,C.D and E division.
Among the boys to perform well were K.Mason, K.Keenan, L.Jerrems, R.Olive, P.Webb and K.Doyle.
Most boys swam Freestyle and Backstroke but the more proficient boys also swam Breaststroke. There were dog paddle and underwater events for the less able swimmers in under 14 and open.
In 1955 events were increased in distance to 33 1/3 yards for most A divisions and 25yards for other divisions. Diving was now introduced. It is interesting to see that most boys swam in at least one event. The boys who swam well were B.Moritz, J and F O’Sullivan, L.Jerrems, P.Webb, P.Collins, B.Kelly, R.Olive and L.Day. The 1955 champions were:
Open – F.O’Sullivan
Under 16- P.Collins
Under 15 P.Webb
Under 14 J.Collins
Under 13 B. Moritz
Under 12 J.Jost
Under 11 F.Clarebrough
Under 10 J.Schneller
Under 9 L.Day
In 1956 swimming carnival race record were now listed in the program and it now appeared the sports had become more 'professional'. New events were conducted in Under 9,10,18.104.22.168,15,16, and Open.
Under 9,10 and 11 swam 25 yards, under 12-13 33 1/3 yards, under 14,15,16,and open all swam 50 yards, butterfly and breaststroke was swam in all ages as well as backstroke.
Among the winners were C.Wells, P.Ruddock, P.Webb, B.Hartnett and A.Schauble.
The swimming program up till 1956 was produced on an old ink duplicator.
From 1957 the swimming carnival was held at Olympic Park Pool (The pool where the Olympic Games were held in 1956 and is now the Lexus Centre the Home of Collingwood Football Club) The program in 1957 was produced by a professional printer.
From available records it appears Marcellin started swimming in the Associated Catholic Colleges Carnival at Richmond Baths in about 1955. The schools competing were:
CBC North Melbourne
DE La Salle Malvern
St Bede’s Mentone
CBC St Kilda
All the schools had over 100 more boys than Marcellin.
At this time a number of Marcellin boys belonged to very strong swimming clubs of Camberwell and Kew. In fact Peter Ruddock a Marcellin boy was captain of the Camberwell Swimming Club and also school captain. He continued his involvement with swimming all his life as a school principal developing school swimming in state primary schools and at Carey Grammar as well as lecturing to physical education staff and examining swimming coaches for qualifications.
Peter was the first Marcellin boy to win any major school sporting event when he won the All Schools under 19 Backstroke at the age of 16 in a record time against boys from big schools like Scotch and Wesley.
As a number of boys competed with their swimming clubs they owned and wore track suits with the names of their clubs on the back of the suit. Marcellin did not have a track suit and it was reported the brothers were upset with the boys wearing the local swimming club track suits so very soon the school had a track suit. Most suits were too large for the boys and not at all well designed as they were very cheap.
Marcellin in the 1950s was most successful at swimming, in fact in 1956 Marcellin finished third out of the eight schools with 62 points and this may had been due to the school having well organised and highly competitive house sports, winter training on Saturday night at Brunswick pool with the boys training with the local swimming clubs, the keen efforts of one of the brothers, along with the effort of the talented boys. Marcellin also finished third in 1958 and 1959 and 4th in 1958. a most remarkable effort.
Kew Swimming Club District Swimming Championship:
Marcellin for many years was the winner of the District Swimming Championship that was conducted among all local schools surrounding the Kew District. This old shield is in the possession of Marcellin.
Travel to the sporting grounds for matches or training:
It is interesting to note that the school did not organise to take the boys to the sporting venues and to the training grounds. It was just left to the boys to get themselves to the grounds. Camberwell Pool was about 3 miles from the school and boys would make their way to the pool most weeks in summer. Often the boys used to go as far as Macleay Park in Belmore Rd North Balwyn about 6 miles away from the school. Many boys used their bikes to get to the grounds and those who did not have bikes either walked or used public transport. The brothers never marked the roll or checked to see all boys had arrived safely at the grounds. (Often boys would have large cricket bags with stumps, bats and pads balanced on the handlebars of the bikes) or even “dinked” a friend on their bike. School sporting teams had very little training.