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Our Mission Statement

DRSA is the premier teaching and development club in the Plymouth Life Centre for swimmers and water polo players of all age groups and abilities. We are the ideal swimming club for those who consider aquatic sports to be a key ingredient to maintaining a balanced lifestyle, as well as for swimmers, water polo players and multi-sports athletes who wish to compete at a high level.

Our mission is to:

   Develop local aquatic talent lifelong in a friendly environment

   Realise the individual's potential in line with their personal goals

   Succeed in delivering teaching and coaching excellence

   Advance the sports of swimming and water polo

We are a SwimMark accredited club

SwimMark is about creating the best possible swimming experience for all. SwimMark Essential Club is accredited to clubs that have measures in place to achieve good governance, grow membership, develop volunteers and ensure their activity is sustainable and in line with their club objectives. It is accredited every two years.

"SwimMark accreditation is Swim England's quality standard for clubs. It recognises high standards of governance, sustainability and effectiveness."
Source: Swim England

Click here to view our Swim Mark Essential Club certificate.

We are a volunteer-run, family-oriented club

We like to think of ourselves as a friendly, family-oriented swimming club. We are a volunteer-run organisation, many of the volunteers you see on poolside have or have had children in the club. Although our swim programme is led by a professional swim coach, all other coaches, committee members and helpers are volunteers who give their time for free.

Our junior, masters and para swimmers and water polo teams train in the world-class facilities of the Plymouth Life Centre and compete at county, regional and national level. Some of our members have gone on to represent their country.

You can find out more about our swimming and water polo sections on the dedicated Swimming and Water polo pages on this website. To learn more about our history, how we acquired our Royal title and a little bit more besides, please continue on our About us page.

We are on social media

Our offical social media accounts are:

Facebook - Devonport Royal Swimming Association for all news items

Twitter - DevonportRoyal for swimming-related tweets

Twitter - DevonportPolo for water-polo-related tweets

We have Employers' Liability Insurance

Click here to view our Certificate of Employers' Liability Insurance.

We once had a Royal patron

The club was given its "Royal" title by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Albert, the second son of Queen Victoria. He was a career naval officer and served all around the world, eventually becoming Admiral of the Fleet.

His Royal Highness became a patron of the Association after visiting the committee boat when the Association's annual matches were being held off Mount Wise in 1892. He married Maria Alexandrovna, only daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. They had 6 children, some of whom swam with the club when he was Commander-in-Chief at Devonport Naval Base from 1890 to 1893.

We are the only swimming club that is entitled to call itself Royal.

We are one of the oldest swimming clubs in the United Kingdom, having been established in 1863, and the only swimming club that is entitled to call itself "Royal". The full and correct title of the club is the Devonport Royal Swimming Association and Humane Society.

The Humane Society part of the title dates from when members of the club were responsible for retrieving bodies from the Hamoaze and Plymouth Sound. Port of Plymouth Swimming Association was responsible for the Plym, the Barbican area and around to Western Kings. Devonport was responsible from Western Kings up to Saltash. Today, this function is carried out by the Ministry of Defence Police river patrols.

History of Title
Article printed in 1939 explaining the origin of the club's Royal title.

We have had many great servants

One of whom was the late Brian Ferrand who coached our youngsters over a period of almost 40 years, was a member of the club for 64 years and was also a former President of the British Long Distance Swimming Association. Not long before we lost Brian, he shared his knowledge of the club's history in the attached document and introduced us to some of the club's legends. This is simply a must-read for all friends of DRSA.

Click here to read Brian's DRSA Reminiscences 1951-2014.

Brian Ferrand (left)
1957 Plymouth Secondary School Senior Champion
DRSA - Our History in Pictures