A Tribute to Britain’s Golden Girl of Olympic Fame, Rebecca Adlington is Her Name

Sherwood Colliery Swimming Baths were opened way back in 1934

I lived on Sherwood Rise, and, as they say, the baths were just outside my back door

I learnt to swim there as a kid, and many more children did, just as I did

Later on I learned to dive and play the water polo game

And my pals and I achieved a small degree of local swimming fame.

Many decades later a young girl learned to swim there for a while

And her favourite swimming stroke was known as the Women’s Freestyle

She became so good that her talent craved for special coaching-but here comes the rub

It meant leaving Sherwood to join a leading Nottingham Swimming Club.

At this club she was coached and trained so hard, that to no-ones surprise

Here was a new and exciting swimming star which began to arise

In the year 2008 she swam in the Olympics in Beijing, China

And her performance in two events could not have been finer

She won gold in both the 400 and 800 meters Women’s Freestyle

And her achievements were greeted with loud applause, handshakes and many smiles.

On her return home to Mansfield she was escorted on an open top bus ride through the town

Where she received rapturous applause for her double Olympic crown

And as a tribute and in honour of her epic venture

The improved and updated old Sherwood Swimming Baths were renamed The Rebecca Adlington Swimming Baths.

Becky, like everyone else, knew that in 2012 the London Olympic Games were due

And she wished to retain her two Olympic titles which, of course, was a natural thing to do

And for four years she travelled from home to train both in the daylight and in the dark

And in March 2012 she swam and qualified to swim for Team GB at the Aquatic Centre in London’s Olympic Park.

When a person competes against those judged to be amongst the world’s best

You need talent, guts, courage, nerves of steel and all the rest

Becky has proved she has all these attributes in good measure

And that is why she has become Mansfield and Britain’s ‘Golden Girl Treasure’

Becky swam well in the 400 and 800 meters final races but, alas did not retain her golden crowns

No one ever wins every race and as we all know, life has its ups and downs

Twice she came a credible third which is the Olympic Bronze medal place

And to become third best in the world is needed indeed an achievement to embrace

And remember Becky to have your name in the record books for evermore is a comforting solace.

I have heard it said you are Britain’s best female swimmer ever

And I feel sure your name will be forgotten-never

As an inspiration to others for their dreams to come true

Becky has shown what hard work and dedication can do

She has worked hard and has always done well

And she has earned her reputation as Mansfield’s and Britain’s Olympic ‘Golden Gel’

She is a credit to the sport, to us all and to Mansfield Town

We all love you Becky both with and without your Golden Olympic Crown.

Ron Saville,

Ellesmere Road,

Forest Town.

Ex Sherwood Colliery Swimming Club Member (1934-1960)