Gill Wright Award

Northern Wave swimmers will probably best remember Gill as a keen fellow swimmer or as our inspirational teacher and coach. Whilst she loved swimming there was far more to Gill…

Gill Wright

Pictured here, with a backdrop of Edwardian Art Deco tiles, Gill spent the last 25 years of her life campaigning to bring the Victoria Baths back into public use. She was at the vanguard of the campaign which helped Victoria Baths win the £3.5 million prize in the 2003 BBC series; Restoration

She also founded the Historic Pools of Britain campaign. She had an encyclopedic knowledge of the UK’s watery heritage, and no one was as committed to protecting and restoring it for future generations.

In addition to coaching for Northern Wave, she taught thousands of children to swim at Manchester Splash.

Gill adopted the expression “Every child a swimmer, every swimmer a lifesaver,” a quote attributed to her friend Sunny Lowry, the long-distance swimmer who learned to swim at Victoria Baths.

Born in Liverpool, the third daughter of Cleo (nee Milward) and John Wright. She studied chemistry at Leicester University and she went on to work on the Wirral for Shell UK. Gill then changed careers to become a welfare rights adviser at Warrington Law Centre, before moving to join the South Manchester Community Law Centre in the early 1990s.

After a seizure in March 2020, Gill was diagnosed with a brain tumour and spent the rest of the year in and out of hospital. In January 2021 doctors advised she stop treatment and her daughter Sarah, a paramedic, moved back home to look after her. Gill passed away on 3 March 2021.

In honour of Gill, the club has instigated an annual award in her name. The Gill Wright Award will be presented at the annual Christmas Party. Each year we will seek nominations for this award from club members. It should go to someone from the club who has made a significant contribution towards the club or who has significantly improved their swimming or overcome challenges in the year.

Gill Wright, swimmer, teacher and coach. 29 Jan 1959 - 3 Mar 2021