In the Swim

The Annual Inter-Hospital Swimming Carnival for Nurses was held from 1954 to 1963 at the Adelaide Olympic Pool. The event was open to both public and private hospitals and was very popular.

L to R: Jan Zevenboom, Lenis Wells, Sue Wright and Nadine Vine, winners of the inter-hospital relay trophy, 1962.
Winning Hospital: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

A major drawcard were the novelty events:

  • ‘Get there as best you can’ swim race;
  • Nurses Bathing Beauty Contest;
  • Balloon swimming race;
  • ‘Flappers with Flippers’ water polo team;
  • Water ballet; and
  • Water clowns.

The more conventional swimming events included freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and diving championship.

Inter-hospital Swimming Carnival – The Advertiser, 13 January 1954

However, the event that all the hospitals wanted to win, was the Inter-Hospital Relay Cup. The winning hospital team would get their names engraved on the cup and would proudly display it until the following year.

Cup Winners:

  • 1954 – Wakefield Street Private Hospital
  • 1956 – Adelaide Children’s Hospital
  • 1960 – The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • 1961 – The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • 1962 – The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • 1963 – The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
The News, 13 January 1954

Written by Margot Way, CALHN Health Museum