Kathy Heneghan was 16 years old when the late Bob O’Connor hired her to work for the Windsor Locks Recreation Department, first as a leader, and then as a swim instructor and swim team coach.  But even Bob’s keen eye for talent could not have predicted the impact that Kathy would have on generations of Windsor Locks families.  Over the years she has taught thousands of kids how to swim and keep fit.  More than 50 years later she’s still at it; bringing her enthusiasm to teaching swimming in her backyard and coaching the Windsor Locks Water Jets. 

Kathy’s passion for physical fitness began when she was a youth involved in the park department’s Presidential Physical Fitness program.  It was not easy for girls of her generation to show their love of athletics. With few organized sports for girls Kathy and others had to search for opportunities to display their talent; like playing basketball on the hard-top at Windsor Locks High School in a league organized by one of her classmates or swimming for the club team in college.  Undeterred, Kathy channeled her passion in to a career as a physical education teacher after graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1970.   

While teaching full time and raising her children, Kathy still found time to coach recreational and travel soccer, and Little League softball.  In 1993, Kathy and Mike Fusick managed the Windsor Locks Little League all-star softball team that placed third in the state tournament.  During her 28 year tenure with the Windsor Locks schools Kathy also served as the coach of the girls’ varsity swim team and led the students at South Elementary School in a running program called Morning Milers.

Although Kathy retired from teaching in 2014 she has stayed involved in athletics, in particular softball and swimming.  She has spent 9 years with the NCCC Board of Umpires and continues to umpire high school and Little League softball games.  She also been a member of the CSOA board of swimming officials for over 30 years officiating high school swim meets.

Kathy found a way to overcome the obstacles and pass on her love of sports to the youth in Windsor Locks.  The next time you see some kid splashing about in a pool or taking a run, you can be pretty sure Kathy Heneghan had something to do with it. 

est 2005