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Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Legacy Of Patricia G. Mitchell

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Patricia Mitchell was a well-regarded, much-loved swimming coach and mentor in Southern California who recently unexpectedly passed away.

The former age group, collegiate and open water swimmer coached in the same neighborhoods she grew up in for decades.

Lady P, as she was known, coached and constantly fought against the widespread negative stereotypes about black swimmers throughout her aquatic career.

She coached at the South Gate Swim Stadium near Los Angeles, motivating many to don competitive swimsuits for over 25 years.

Stacey Muñatones Ballance, a fellow swimmer, remembered her friend whose life ended prematurely on January 31st. "She lived a life of love and forgiveness. She used to get mad at racism, but she always spoke of forgiveness.

She was so sweet and caring of others. Her energy and spirit are strong.

She used called herself the Black Mermaid and started a Facebook page called Black People Do Swim

Katie Rowe, one of her teammates on the Long Beach State swim team, recalled the fast butterflyer and freestyler. "She passed away from stage 4 kidney, liver and colon cancer at the age of 49. She ran a lot of swimming programs for the kids and teenagers and was known for her tough love for 24 years. Lady P will be most definitely missed greatly for her wonderful smile and warm heart.

Mitchell's colleagues at the South Gate Swim Stadium devised a way to honor her legacy, contributions and efforts that touched the hearts of thousands. But their campaign needs help.

Her surviving sister Phyllis explained about the last stages of the campaign.

"The pool staff and members of the City of South Gate have rallied together, proposing that the South Gate Swim Stadium be dedicated to Patricia G. Mitchell for her life-long hard work and commitment to making the swim programs and the facility a success."

The committee is requesting character reference letters to be submitted to the City Council by March 8th 2018. The letters of support can be emailed to ksaldana77@gmail.com and eanswer@hotmail.com.

Handwritten or typed letters of support can be snail mailed to South Gate Swim Stadium, The City of South Gate, 9520 Hildreth Ave, South Gate, CA 90280. Attention: Leslie Consuegra.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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