When Rev. Small was adding a new wing to the Darrell Boarding in early 1900 it was his desire to have a swimming pool on the hill. However it never materialised due to various reasons. However recently an effort has been taken to put up a pool and construction started although its not complete due to various problems.
Swimming has been at Richmond since 1888 as a competitive sport. It was near the Maha Modera bridge that the events has been worked out for many years but not regularly. Along with some other masters, the Principal Rev. Small for some time had been taking groups of older Richmond boys for Saturday morning swimming sessions at Closenburg Bay at the foot of Bona Vista, was then secluded and natural, and considered safe for bathing. Some of the boys would simply frolic in the waters while others would swim. On September 18, 1915, an abnormal current carried some of the non-swimmers out of their depth, and one master and two boys lost their lives. If not for Rev. Small’s gallantry more lives would have been lost. He had rescued many lives and this incident has always remained a painful memory to Rev. Small all throughout his life.
On a happier note it is on record of Rev. Arthur Triggs quietly slipping away during a swimming meet at Maha Modera going back to the Hill to get married which took everyone unawares. This alone show how much the then Principal’s cared for the college by giving precedent to the school event than his own wedding.
When Cadetting was discontinued in Methodist Mission schools in 1935 the Cadet Corps of Richmond disappeared. To compensate for the activity it was mooted by Mr. A. F. de Saa Bandaranaike that an Aquatic Sports meet be held annually. He organised classes and on the average about fifty to sixty boys would learn swimming. The swimming meet was moved to Jetty 1 of the Galle Harbour. The boys were prepared for the Royal Life Saving Society certifications and many boys won medals, badges and certificates. Learning swimming was two fold – as a recreation as well as learning to save lives of swimmers in distress.
Swimming and Life Saving continued until 1944 and for some reason until 1949 it seems to have ceased. However it has been revived in 1949 by Mr. K. John Koratha. In 1957 Mr. Ivor de Silva took over the training of swimmers and Life Savers. On his resigning from the school an American Peace Corp undergraduate helped the College. Mr. Poor help improve the standards by lectures and through illustrations, slides and films but never got into the water. In the mid sixties Gen. Gerry de Silva to coached the swimmers.