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A Chapter for Ladies

swimming, lady, sex, art, water and fair


It is a regrettable fact that most text books pub lished on swimming seldom allude to the art in its relation to ladies, the majority not even mention ing the fair sex at all. Why this is so it is diffi cult to explain, as it is quite clear to the most casual observer at seaside resorts or bathing places on the lakes of Canada, America and Aus tralia that ladies enter into the spirit of the sport with far more zest and real enjoyment than many of the sterner sex. The writer has, therefore, devoted a chapter to ladies with the hope that the reader, be he father, brother or son, will bring the same prominently before their wives, daughters or friends, a brief perusal of which will no doubt prove interesting and beneficial.

Ladies and young girls are usually somewhat timid when taking to the water, their inducement to overcome this has been considerably retarded by lack of experienced lady experts to teach them that they have all the natural advantages of man, when once the nervousness of entering the water has been overcome. It is this, and this alone, that has curtailed the progress of many an otherwise promising career of the fair sex in the swimming world. The, same conditions prevail when boys are frightened and ducked in the early days of their beginning, which increases their timidity to such an extent that it remains with them for years. From this it will be gathered that every precau tion should be taken to see that no cause is given for this state of affairs arising with beginners. The method of teaching ladies is exactly similar to that discussed in the chapter on teaching the art in the first part of the book.

The drills alluded to can be taken in ordinary short skirts, or gymnasium costume, or even in a lady's bathing suit, the best style being what is known as the combination suit, i. e., drawers and waist being in one piece, the skirt, being an extra garment, to be taken off when entering the water.

The short sleeves should be dispensed with, leav ing the armholes simply like a gentleman's vest, with colored braiding added according to taste. This is the class of garment most usually adopted, as it gives greater freedom to the arms and shoul ders whilst swimming. It is advisable to have pure serges in preference to woollen materials, as they do not hold the water. It is also advisable to have a pair of light shoes at hand in the event of the shore being rough or pebbly. This is espe cially desired in the case of beginners.

The writer has had many pleasant swimming excursions with Mr. Redmond and his sister-in law, Miss Beatrice Kerr, the champion lady swim mer of Australia. It is no doubt due to the keen interest taken by the public in this lady and Miss Annette Kellerman, that has led ladies to take up the art more vigorously than hitherto. Swimming, as a sport for ladies, has recently become the favorite pastime of the fair sex in Great Britain. The most expert lady in the art is one of London's Mayoresses, who is the winner of five gold medals for diving and swimming, many ladies of title emulating her splendid example. Among the latter, out of some hundreds, are, Lady Constance Stewart Richardson, and quite a number of American leaders of fashion.

There are many expert lady swimmers in Can ada and America, and it will be very interesting, when the different clubs send their representatives to compete for some national souvenir, such as the King's Cup. It would give ladies their due recog nition in the swimming world and stimulate fur ther progress being made in international racing, which would open out this field of sport to ladies of all countries.