Shirley Cooke wins Aquaforce Volunteer Award

Dr Shirley Crawford Cooke, who for 60 years has dedicated her life to swimming, has scooped this year’s Long Service Award.

The 86-year-old received the ASA’s Aquaforce Volunteer Award at a glittering ceremony .

Having been a competitive swimmer in her University years, including representing Great Britain at the World University Games in Paris in 1947, Shirley’s commitment to swimming has continued to the present day.

In 1968 Shirley co-founded Ellesmere Port Amateur Swimming Club (EPASC) with her husband and has been an active member in the club ever since, regularly offering more time than is expected of her.

For 30 years she has also organised the annual Ellesmere Port and Neston Primary Schools Swimming Gala (which involves over 20 schools, and 160 swimmers) and the club’s exchange visit to Reutlingen, a town in Germany with which Ellesmere Port has until recently been twinned.

Mrs Angela Fitch, who nominated the octogenarian said: “She truly is an inspiration. She is now 86 years old and continues to work tirelessly, supporting and inspiring many young people of all ages.

“People within EPASC are still amazed by her drive, stamina, knowledge and enthusiasm for all areas of swimming. Although advancing in age Shirley does not see this as a reason to relinquish her roles and has embraced technology, being computer literate and writing the club newsletter amongst the other administrative duties of the Club Secretary.”

At District level Shirley has held posts on the Liverpool and District Association Committee, including President. She has also served on the Cheshire County Swimming Association committee and officiated at local, District, County, Regional and National competitions.

She is currently discussing plans for a new sports facility in Ellesmere Port with the local MP and Councillors, which will allow great numbers of young people to be involved in swimming and other sports in Ellesmere.

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