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Tributes paid to former ASA President and 'inspirational figure' Anne Reah

Moving tributes have been paid to dedicated volunteer and former Amateur Swimming Association President Anne Reah, who has died at the age of 77.

Her family said Anne passed away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by love on Friday 12 April.

Anne’s swimming ‘journey’ began in 1982 when her family joined Killingworth Swimming Club.

A move to City of Newcastle Swimming Club followed and Anne became an official, qualifying as a referee in 2001 and officiating at county and regional events.

She was also the secretary for City of Newcastle, became the treasurer of Northumberland and Durham and a board member for the Swim England North East Region.

In 2017, she was honoured with the role of Amateur Swimming Association President due to her ‘paralleled commitment and service’.

Andy Salmon, Swim England chief executive, said Anne was a role model who would be greatly missed.

He added: “Anne gave so much to the sport and the North East Region.

“Like so many of our amazing volunteers, Anne became involved with the sport due to her children taking up swimming.

“However, she quickly became an inspirational figure to so many having held so many roles at club, county, regional and national level.

Fondly remembered

“We will be forever grateful for her contribution and our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies go to her family and friends at this sad time.”

In a tribute to Anne, the Swim England North East Region wrote they were ‘deeply saddened’ to announce the passing of ‘a beloved figure within the swimming community’.

The post read: “Anne’s unwavering dedication to the sport spanned decades, leaving an indelible mark on all those she touched.

“It was not just as a spectator or parent that Anne made her mark – she became an integral part of the sport’s infrastructure.

“Anne’s passion for administration truly set her apart … and her tireless efforts and dedication did not go unnoticed by her peers.

“Anne achieved the highest honour a volunteer could receive, being named President of Swim England, a testament to her unparalleled commitment and service.

“Anne’s presence will be deeply missed within the swimming community, but her spirit will continue to inspire generations to come.

“Her legacy of love, dedication, and passion for swimming will endure, cherished by all those whose lives she touched.”

A number of tributes were also posted to Anne on social media, with Sue Prasad saying she had ‘fond memories’ of being on poolside with her.

Karen Foster said that Anne was ‘such a lovely person’, while Graeme Bradley said she was ‘one of the nicest people’ he had met.

Sue Campion wrote: “Really sorry to hear this news. Anne was always kind and helpful with new volunteers on poolside.”

David Watson posted: “Anne was an enormous help to me when she was on the Board of Swim England North East Region and I am immensely grateful to have met her and seen first-hand her dedication to our sport.

“She will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.”

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