OSS Ambassador Kathleen Dawson was back in her childhood home of Warrington this week to accept a thrilling honour that will ensure her name is remembered long into the future.
The 24-year-old Scot was born in Kirkcaldy but moved south with her family before starting primary school and would go on to learn to swim and develop competitively in the local Great Sankey Swimming Pool in Warrington. That pool has now be renamed the ‘Kathleen Dawson Swimmng Pool’ after a decision by the local council and leisure trust LiveWire to mark Kathleen’s historic gold medal triumph at the summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
After being presented with a plaque by the Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Maureen Creaghan, to officially rename the pool, Kathleen joined Year 5 pupils from Chapelford Community Primary School on poolside for their swimming lesson.
She told them: “I learnt to swim with LiveWire here at the Great Sankey Swimming Pool and 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 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.”
Councillor Tony Higgins, cabinet member for leisure and community added: “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.”
The plaque will be displayed at the hub alongside photographs of Kathleen in action at the Tokyo Olympics.