These early clubs were male only. But in December 1891 Brighton Ladies Swimming Club was formed.
At a meeting on 4th May 1860 at the Jolly Fisherman Inn, Brighton Swimming Club was officially constituted making it the first swimming club to be formed in England. This makes them older than Swim England (formerly Amateur Swimming Association) that was formed in 1869.
Other clubs quickly followed in Eastbourne, Worthing and Hastings. Clubs were also being formed inland with one of the first at Burgess Hill.
Brighton was also the site of one of the first swimming pools – Brills Baths were built on the site of what is now the Pool Valley Bus Station.
By 1895 a meeting of the Southern Counties Association in Brighton unanimously agreed ‘to form district and county local centres’ – Sussex County ASA was born.