Punahou was the first school on O‘ahu to have its own swimming “tank” – today, the Elizabeth P. Waterhouse Memorial Pool continues to nurture champion swimming, diving and water polo athletes.
Swimming was among the first of the School’s athletic pursuits, dating to the earliest days when students enjoyed a natural pond on campus. The swimming hole was eventually filled in and by 1888, Punahou was home to Honolulu’s first cement swimming “tank.” In 1922, a newer, more modern pool was built and named in honor of Elizabeth P. Waterhouse, who had enjoyed swimming during her years at Punahou before her death in an automobile crash.
Punahou has a long history of producing accomplished swimmers, divers and water polo players, including a number of Olympic medalists. Since its first year as a high-school interscholastic sport in 1958, Punahou has won 47 out of 60 state swimming championships for boys and 51 out of 60 for girls. In 1981, the Elizabeth P. Waterhouse Memorial Pool was enlarged to Olympic dimensions and is maintained with support from the Waterhouse Charitable Trust.