Swimming teacher hangs up her goggles

Barbara Jones won the Unsung Hero Award at the BBC North West Sports Awards 2006.
Barbara Jones won the Unsung Hero Award at the BBC North West Sports Awards 2006.
Share this article

An 86-year-old swimming teacher who has taught generations of local youngsters leaves the local swimming scene with a lasting legacy.

Barbara Jones, who lives at Upbrooks in Clitheroe, started coaching with Clitheroe Dolphins 40 years ago and during her time with the club even coached Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray.

Barbara, who started up the shop at Clitheroe Dolphins to provide funds for the club, coached both beginners and advanced swimmers as well as adults.

While teaching, Barbara also acted as the club’s secretary, treasurer and competition organiser.

And her love for swimming resulted in Barbara setting up her own swim school 15 years ago at Tosside where she taught children from the age of five upwards.

Any challenge was never too much for Barbara with children with disabilities excelling and learning to become strong swimmers.

As well as helping thousands of children learn an important life skill, Barbara has also helped many Clitheroe Dolphin swimmers gain national qualifying times.

Her coaching and fine tuning has also led to one swimmer gaining seven British swimming records.

Barbara’s enthusiasm and dedication was recognised in 2006 when she was presented with a BBC Northwest Unsung Hero Award.

Although Barbara has officially retired from swimming teaching she does still help out with swimming teaching one day a week at Clitheroe’s Pendle Junior School.

Barbara said that “they are such lovely children” that she just couldn’t give this up.

A former librarian at Clitheroe Library, the mother-of-four, grandmother-of-nine and great-grandmother-of-three, also still does voluntary work at Help the Aged shop in Clitheroe.