The Percy Norman Swim Club is named in honour of Percy Norman, considered Canada's top swim coach for many years. Born March 16, 1904, Mr. Norman was a good swimmer and won several races held in Burrard Inlet. After winning the 7.5 mile Point Atkinson to Kitsilano Beach swim for a second time (see picture on right), he appeared headed toward a career as one of the country's top distance swimmers.

However, all that changed in 1931 when a group of Vancouver swimmers, who hoped to make a showing in Canada's 1932 Olympic trials, asked him to coach them. Soon, Mr. Norman decided to chose the rewards of coaching over pursuing his own swimming ambitions. Although his protégés weren't good enough for the 1932 Olympic Games, he did learn something from watching the Japanese team, made up of youths in their early teens, excel at the Games -- swimmers have to start young.

From then until his retirement in 1955, Percy Norman concentrated on the kids. They were his favourites. He made great swimmers of many of them. His success won him the job as Canada's swim coach at the 1936 Olympics.

Mr. Norman was also head coach of the Vancouver Amateur Swim Club from 1931 to 1955. A characteristic of all VASC swim teams was their tremendous spirit. Swimming can mean painfully hard work, repeated over and over. With Mr. Norman in command, many of his pupils testified it was fun.

These same swimmers testified also that Mr. Norman dug into his pockets countless times to pay the way to meets in other cities for swimmers who couldn't raise the fare.

For a history of Percy Norman's coaching accomplishments, visit the BC Hall of Fame, where he is inducted as a builder.

Percy Norman passed away in 1957 at the age of 53 from a heart attack. On April 27, 1960, the Vancouver Parks Board named a pool in his honour, changing the name from the proposed Riley Park Swimming Pool to the Percy Norman Memorial Pool.

The Percy Norman Swim Club (PNSC) was formed in the 1970's and enjoyed a long, rich history with the Percy Norman Pool, our home until July, 2010. Our first 18 years were operated under the auspices of the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Board where registered members paid admission to the pool and the Parks Board provided 2 lifeguards to assist with coaching.  In April 2004, we were incorporated under the Society Act and are governed by the following bylaws.

Today, PNSC is a community swim club consisting of over 180 swimmers, the majority ranging in ages from 5 to 18. We swim at the Aquatic Centre at Hillcrest Park. We are a non-profit organization run by parent volunteers and supported by BC Gaming, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, and the Riley Park Community Association. We now have a full roster of experienced coaches, complemented by many assistant coaches and junior leaders who have grown up swimming at the Percy Norman Swim Club.

Copyright © 2019 Percy Norman Swim Club. All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: October 16, 2019