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.
Ex Sherwood Colliery Swimming Club Member (1934-1960)