Swimming is a ‘full blue’ sport at Cambridge. This means that, on achievement of a certain standard, a Cambridge swimmer will be awarded a ‘blue'; the University’s highest recognition of sporting achievement.
All swimmers competing in the Varsity Match against Oxford are awarded a ‘half blue’. If a swimmer who competes in the Match also achieves a Blues time whilst representing the University during the season, they are awarded a ‘full blue’. Blues times are currently based on IPS points as published by Swimnews. However the award of a ‘blue’ or ‘half blue’ is always subject to the Captain’s discretion and the approval of the Men’s or Ladies’ Blues Committee.
In 1888 Club ‘colours'; consisting of green, yellow and light blue; were first awarded for swimming and water polo achievement. ‘Half blues’ were awarded to first string swimmers from 1893 onwards, and to all swimmers who competed in the Varsity Match from 1949. Finally in 1966 swimming became a ‘full blue’ sport with a place on the Blues Committee.