Lollipop Kath in Olympic honour

Photo Neil Cross'Euxton lollipop lady Kath Atkinson will be an Olympic torchbearer
Photo Neil Cross'Euxton lollipop lady Kath Atkinson will be an Olympic torchbearer

An inspirational lollipop lady from Chorley is in training for the Olympics.

Kath Atkinson, 71, has been keeping children on Wigan Road, Euxton, safe for almost 40 years.

The great-grandmother is now practising for her role as a torchbearer when it passes through Blackpool in June.

And Kath is making sure she’s ready for the challenge by carrying her lollipop stick as often as she can.

Kath, 71, from Euxton, said: “It will be quite a transformation from a lollipop lady to a torchbearer.

“I will be 72 when I carry it so I’m not running, I am going to power walk.

“I’ve got my stick to practice with and I’m walking with it from home and changing hands for practice.

“I’m just an ordinary person. I never dreamed of being able to do anything like this.”

Kath, who has three daughters, five grandchildren, and one great-grand daughter, was nominated by Lydia Goodliffe for her help in guiding thousands of children to Euxton C of E and St Mary’s RC Primary School over four decades.

On top of this, she also helps to look after elderly neighbours, helps out at coffee mornings, and gets involved in gala days.

Modest Kath said: “I don’t think I’m anyone, I just get on with my job.

“I love seeing the children and they love seeing me. All the mums and dads are wonderful too.

“Lydia wrote a lovely letter and it nearly made me cry when I saw it.

“Some day I will retire, but not just yet.

“It’s a busy job but I love it.”

Nominating Kath for the honour, Lydia said: “Aunty Kath shows a genuine pride in and love for her job, and for the children and adults she meets every day.

“What makes Kath such a special person is that she doesn’t think she is very special at all.”