Upsala Simsällskap

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Jöns Svanberg, founder of Upsala Simsällskap
Upsala Simsällskap or the Uppsala Swimming Society in English, is considered the oldest swimming club in the world. The club was founded in Uppsala, Sweden in 1796 in order to provide elementary swimming instruction. It began offering competitive swimming in 1910 and remains a successful swimming club in Sweden.

The society was founded by the mathematician and astronomer Jöns Svanberg (1771–1851) together with some colleagues at the university as a way to remedy the general lack of swimming skills. The same year the society was founded, Svanberg arranged a mock "graduation ceremony" (simpromotion) modeled after the academic ceremony, where he and some of his colleagues awarded themselves a master's degree (magister) and their pupils were awarded a bachelor's degree (kandidat) in swimming.

Gabriel Marklin and Carl Gustaf Grahl followed Svanberg as the leader of the club.

In the middle of the 19th century, a bath house was built and later a springboard for diving. The Isander dive (or half gainer), one of the most common dives in springboard diving, was named after Lars Fredrik Isander (1828–1893), active in the Society and later lecturer at the Gymnasium in Linköping, and the Mollberg dive (full gainer) was named after Anders Fredrik Mollberg, swimming instructor for the society (1878–1879), who supposedly invented it by accident when he was actually intending to do an Isander dive. It actually appears to be considerably older and is described already in Underrättelser i simkonsten, a Swedish instruction book in swimming from 1839.

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