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The pool at Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub has been renamed ‘The Kathleen Dawson Swimming Pool’ in recognition of Kathleen’s gold medal win at the Tokyo Olympics.
Kathleen returned to where it all began today, Monday 6 December, where she was presented with a plaque by the Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Maureen Creaghan, to officially rename the pool.
As part of the team who won gold in the mixed 4x100 metre medley relay at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, Kathleen learnt to swim with LiveWire at Great Sankey Leisure Centre and later trained there as a member of the Warriors of Warrington Swimming Club.
The former Great Sankey High School pupil brought along her gold medal and joined Year 5 pupils from Chapelford Community Primary School on poolside for their swimming lesson.
Kathleen said: “I learnt to swim with LiveWire here at the Great Sankey Swimming Pool. I just want to say to everyone who is learning to swim to keep going as it’s an essential life skill and one day you could end up with a gold medal around your neck!”
The Olympic champion was then joined by members of her family, friends, and former coaches as the Mayor presented her with a plaque which will be displayed at the hub.
The Mayor said: “It is a privilege to be here today to meet Kathleen and present her with this honour. Kathleen and Team GB’s win at the Tokyo Olympic Games was amazing to watch and we are so proud of all they have accomplished. Kathleen’s success in the pool, alongside her dedication and hard working attitude will inspire so many young people to work hard to achieve their dreams.”
Cllr Tony Higgins, cabinet member for leisure and community said: “It’s fantastic to see Kathleen back here at Great Sankey where her journey to becoming an Olympic champion began. The renaming of the pool in Kathleen’s name is a fitting honour as we have invested so much to make the hub a high class sporting facility. It looks a lot different to when Kathleen learned to swim here and I hope her success will inspire the next generation of swimmers to follow in her footsteps.”
Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director of LiveWire, said: “It was wonderful to welcome Kathleen back to Great Sankey as an Olympic champion. LiveWire is very proud to have played a part in her Olympic journey by teaching her to swim when she was younger and we were all cheering her on in the summer. We’re delighted the pool has been renamed in Kathleen’s honour and look forward to teaching many more youngsters to swim here – perhaps even another gold medal winner – for years to come.”
The plaque will be displayed at the hub alongside photographs of Kathleen in action at the Tokyo Olympics.