Swimming as a practice has been traced back to the prehistoric times, with Stone Age paintings depicting swimming more than 7,000 years ago. Swimming has been practiced by humans for many different reasons throughout time. In modern times, it's one of the most popular ways to keep fit, and in the UK alone there are 3,000 swimming pools that are often the heartbeat of local communities. Accessible for all ages, it works more part of the body than any other form of exercise and provides a welcome alternative to exercise on hard surfaces.
There is also evidence of swimming as a sport dating back to prehistoric times, but it truly emerged as a competitive activity first in England in the 1830s. With swimming pools opening rapidly, the Amateur Swimming Association was quickly founded. Other countries began to establish their own swimming organisations, and with that the foundation was laid for it to feature in international competition.