Shirley Miles sadly passed away on Friday 5th August at the age of 88.
Shirley was one of the original team of volunteers who raised money and built West Wight Swimming Pool and formed West Wight Swimming Club. She has been involved from the very beginning in the early 1970’s and she was still teaching swimming here right up until the pandemic. She was a truly unique person and part of the fabric of West Wight Sports & Community Centre. She leaves a massive legacy, having taught thousands of children and adults to swim over the years as well as starting the Kingfishers swimming group for people with learning difficulties. She was highly regarded across the Island and beyond as a swimming instructor and much loved by many. Awarded the British Empire Medal for her dedication to swimming teaching, she was also awarded the Isle of Wight Sports Foundation Lifetime Achievement award in 2018.
Shirley was passionately committed to West Wight Sports & Community Centre, but especially the small swimming pool where she spent so much time. She loved teaching children to swim – but especially babies and toddlers. Her lessons were always full of laughter, and the enjoyment she got from working with children was always clear to see.
In 2021 she achieved her goal of capturing the stories and anecdotes that have made up the unique story of West Wight Sports & Community Centre from it’s very humble beginnings to where it is today. She spent lock down bringing those stories together in a book entitled “It all started with a Hole in the Ground’
Shirley was mentor, friend and much loved colleague to many of us. We’ve missed her greatly since she retired in 2020 at the age of 85.
Shirleys funeral will be on August 23rd at 1pm at Yarmouth Church. Everyone is welcome at the church service which will be followed by a small family gathering.