Kathy Batts Going Solo With Friends
Kathy Batts is one lucky woman, but she has persevered and worked hard to find that luck.
In the 1970’s she crossed paths often with the channel swimming legend Kevin Murphy, both through swimming and in their professional careers as they both worked in the same area of London.
The ties became greater over time as Batts’ father subsequently became Murph’s trainer. Both father and friend tried to persuade Batts to swim the English Channel when she was a fast 20-year-old but she always resisted.
“I knew my head wasn’t in the right place,” Batts recall. “I still think this was the right decision, but desperately regret the fact my father died many years ago so he will never know I achieved the swim.”
But the English Channel still pulled at her heartstrings in other ways. “For years, I have concentrated my efforts on [doing] relays – 14 in total including one double, plus The Loveleys, the first Ladies team to swim around the Isle of Wight.”
The Channel, It Takes A Half Century For Kathy Batts
Since the young age of 15, Kathy Batts has been participating in relays across the English Channel. She has not only completed 14 relays including one two-way relay, but also served on both the Channel Swimming Association committees and as the Treasurer for the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation. Channel swimming is definitely in her blood.
Spurred on by Channel swimming legend Kevin Murphy, Batts turned down numerous opportunities to attempt the channel throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and during the early part of the 21st century.
But time was on her side.
As she matured from a teenager to a woman in her 50s, Batts was always there for others. With all her years of service and dedication to the sport, her focus was instead on the success and support of other swimmers whose dreams she helped realize.
Until this year…
At the perfect age of 53, something clicked, something changed, someone motivated her.