Swimming is a healthy activity for all generations, from young to old. It is a great aerobic sport that uses all the muscles in your body. Aside from keeping you in good shape, it helps you relax and reduce stress at work.

Swimming is one of the most popular sports globally being in the top 20 in almost every country measured. In the Olympic Games, swimming is one of the most awaited events for individuals and team competitions having different swimming butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle. Olympic events are held in a 50-metre long course pool. Olympic swimmers also compete in relays, synchronized swimming and even open-water events.

The goal of competitive swimming is to break current records while beating competitors in any given event. It is governed internationally by the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) or the International Swimming Federations.

Where to Swim in Penang?

Penang, being an island, has many nice beaches to go swimming in. There are many public beaches where you can freely swim and get tanned under the sun. For tourists, most of the hotels and resorts in Batu Ferringhi and Tanjung Bungah are located right beside the beach and at the same time have their own swimming pools for guests who do not want to venture into the sea.

In Penang, there are only few public swimming pools. There is one in Farlim, the Permata Sports Complex. Another is at the indoor stadium and aquatic centre in the SPICE in Relau and the Penang Chinese Swimming Cub located in Tanjung Bungah.

The Permata Sports Complex has a swimming facility that is open to the public. Located in Ayer Itam, the swimming pool area, is open from 9am to 9pm in most days. It has a 10-lane 50m pool and a kiddie pool. There is minimal entrance fee and if you wish, you can apply for a 6-month membership which lowers the price of entry.


The Setia SPICE Aquatic Centre has been revitalised and redesigned and now boasts of modern facilities and cutting-edge eco-friendly motifs. It has an Olympic-sized lap pool with a diving pool, and children’s pool. Aside from these, they have other sporting facilities like badminton courts, gymnasium, sports and sauna rooms.

Additionally, there are private clubs with swimming pools that are for use only by members.

Penang Swimming ClubPenang Swimming Club is nestled on the rocky coast of Tanjung Bungah with laidback colonial charm, great facilities and various social activities. It has a well-maintained 50m pool and wading pool with fresh and sea waters. Aside from that, they also a gymnasium, badminton and tennis courts, squash courts, table tennis hall, marina deck, mini theatre, and boat beths.

Penang Chinese Swimming Club

Penang Chinese Swimming Club was founded in 1928 with the aim of promoting swimming, water polo and life-saving training. Having established itself as a premier club, it has an Olympic size swimming pool, gymnasium, mini theatre, spacious hall, meeting room and a beautiful beach front.

Other venues where you can learn and enjoy swimming are Penang Club, Chinese Recreation Club, Penang Golf Club (formerly Bukit Jambul Country Club) and University Science Malaysia (USM) Swimming Pool.

Moreover, many condominiums have their own private pools for the use of their occupants and guests. These facilities are more for leisure swimming.

If you wish to learn how to swim, there are many swimming schools in Penang that offer personalised lessons so you can learn at your own pace. Most of them have good facilities that provide good training grounds for aspiring athletes as well. Some of the schools you can find online are Setia SPICE Swim School, White Shark Swim School and JS Swimming Academy.