A national award has been given to a ‘dedicated’ Stradbroke swimming teacher, Hayley Adams, after she died of a rare illness.
Hayley started out as a lifeguard at Everyone Active Stradbroke Swim & Fitness Centre in September 2010, but quickly realised her passion was in teaching. She became a swimming teacher in 2011.
The mum-of-two died in May from aplastic anaemia aged just 38 – leaving behind a loving family and community.
Though she had stopped teaching due to her illness, Hayley would still visit the leisure centre to see her swimmers and how they were getting on in lessons. Even the weekend prior to her death, she went to watch and cheer on the adults she had taught in classes.
Because of her devotion, the team at Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre nominated Hayley for Swim England’s Special Recognition Award – which she won.
The award, presented by former Olympic diver and commentator Leon Taylor and Olympic swimmer Ellie Faulkner, was collected by Hayley’s husband, Duane Adams.
Hayley had worked in care in the past, and it was always about helping people. It was about helping people make little steps towards achieving their goals. So the swimming pool was the perfect place for her to be herselfDuane Adams
He said:“Hayley had worked in care in the past, and it was always about helping people. It was about helping people make little steps towards achieving their goals. So the swimming pool was the perfect place for her to be herself.”
The National Swim Awards were held at the University of Birmingham. Hayley’s award was for a special award for Recognition & contribution towards sport.
Jane Nickerson, Swim England CEO, said: “Hayley dedicated much of her life to helping others, in particular teaching others swim.
“We were pleased to be able to recognise everything she did for her local community through swimming, and celebrate her memory with her family at our national awards.”
In honour of Hayley, colleagues, friends and members of Stradbroke Swim & Fitness Centre have raised just under £5,500 with donations and a family challenge day, a Spartan Challenge in Windsor with more fundraising events planned including the Inflatable Santa Run in Ipswich.