Swimming competitions were held at the lake from an early date - for example the Welsh Amateur Swimming Association held its annual competition there in 1895, the first occasion that the event had been held in still water.
Water polo was first allowed June 1905, and the first organized matches were played in the summer of 1910, off the bathing stage, using floating goal posts. A water polo pitch was provided in 1924.
The Taff Swim was originally held in the River Taff and moved in 1931 to Roath Park lake, where it continued to be held until 1963.
Rowing and water skiing competitions were also held at the lake. In the 1960s it became the venue for the annual Welsh Open Water Ski Championships. In 1969 to mark the investiture of the Prince of Wales, it was decided to organise a programme of additional events - the Roath Lake Investiture Festival - on the same weekend (August 16th and 17th) as the Welsh Water Ski Association championships.
The Welsh Open Canoe Regatta was held on the lake on the 14th and 15th September 1979, the first time that the British Canoe Union held such an event in Wales.. The second Welsh Open Canoe Regatta was held on the 13th September 1980.
In February 1980 the Leisure and Amenities Committee agreed that a special regatta be held on Sunday 10th August which would conclude a week of events to mark the City's 75 anniversary.
Early in 1981 it was reported that a bacterial survey of the lake had been introduced three years ago to monitor water quality during changes to the surface water drainage in the north of the city. The results showed an increase in pollution and the Leisure and Amenities Committee was informed that immersion sports had been stopped, though experienced canoeists were still allowed to use the lake. An investigation was in hand to establish the sources of pollution.
The staging of the third Welsh Open Canoe Regatta on the 19th and 20th September was approved in March 1981. The fourth took place on September 25th and 26th 1982, with over 200 canoeists representing 21 clubs from thoughout the UK.
Sources of Information