The Hertfordshire Swimming League was formed “To promote and encourage competition between Swimming Clubs affiliated to the Hertfordshire Amateur Swimming Association”. These words have guided and influenced the development of the League throughout its history, and they help to distinguish it today from the other forms of swimming competition that parents and their swimming children will encounter.

The League was started with the intention of encouraging team competition of clubs in Hertfordshire, neighbouring clubs who may not normally have met in competition. It provides an opportunity for local clubs to enjoy rivalry against each other, in a good-natured and friendly environment. In a sport that can often seem to solely focus on the individual, it also provides coaches, swimmers and parents with occasions to celebrate team spirit. Younger swimmers particularly benefit from the chance to represent their club and community, and will often find their names mentioned in local papers celebrating their feats.

The League has a less formal nature than other events and it consciously seeks to achieve the Olympic ideal, of taking part being more important than winning.  It has always encouraged less able teams to compete. It also enables those more able clubs to include a B team, so that individual club members who did not always get selected had an opportunity to be included and swim for their club.

It also gives an introduction to gala beginners with the Peanut League, named after the cartoon in the Daily Mirror where the same ethos exists, and to ease young inexperienced swimmers into their first serious team competition and all that entails.

The League continues to prosper and it is fortunate to count on the dedicated support and backing of its member clubs in Hertfordshire. Developments in recent years include greater professionalism among officials and improvements in spectator experience via modern PA systems.