The first lady members joined the club in 1888. Swimming, however did not appear to be very popular in those early days. In 1901 the first race for lady members were held, over the 130 yards distance, but there were only three competitors - Miss F. Thwaites (the late Mrs. E. Irving), Miss. Alice Westmorland ( now Mrs. Costello, London) and Miss Wheelhouse (now of Appleby).
Miss Thwaites and Miss Westmorland did much to popularise swimming among girls of Penrith. In 1896 it was decided to offer a silver challenge shield to be competed for by the schools of the town, the prime mover in this decision being Mr. Jeffrey Bewsher, whose motion was seconded by Cannon T. P Monnington. Mr Brewsher's great desire was to encourage schoolboys to take up swimming, and how fully has that desire has been fulfilled! In 1930 the club had 500 school members!
A race for the shield was first included in the club gala in 1987.