She learned to swim as a child, in Elland Baths and Huddersfield’s former Ramsden Street Baths.

More than five decades later, Pam Saville is still enjoying the sport with regular swim-fit sessions at the Huddersfield Leisure Centre.

And along the way, she racked up top performances for the Great Britain swimming squad at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

It was the same Games that aw American swimming star Mark Spitz capture an astonishing seven gold medals in the pool.

Pam, 62, recalled the momentous occasion as news came through that another Huddersfield swimmer, Jonny Booth, has been selected for the Paralympics in Rio later this summer.

Both are following in the footsteps of Huddersfield swimmer Anita Lonsbrough, who won gold at Rome in 1960.

Pam was a title-winner for many years before reaching the pinnacle of her career in the pool at Munich.

The Games, of course, were overshadowed by the Munich massacre in which 11 Israeli athletes and coaches and a West German police officer were killed. Five Black September Palestinian terrorists died.

Pam Saville of Meltham - who swam in the 1972 Munich Olympics - swimming at Huddersfield Leisure Centre.

By that time, the 18-year-old Pam Bairstoaw as she then was had set a personal best time of 2mins 28.2secs in the 200m backstroke and had helped the British medley relay team to a British record.

“The Games were the highlight of my career,” said Pam, of Meltham.

“They were tragically overshadowed by the terrorist attack and I remember the memorial service we held but certainly representing my country in an Olympics was something I will never forget.”

It had all started some 12 years earlier when her great aunt, Betty Holder, took her swimming first, in Elland and then at Ramsden Street.

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By the time Pam had moved to Huddersfield and Oakes Junior School, she was already showing promise.

“When I got to Oakes we had swimming lessons at Salendine Nook High School and the swim teacher there was George Bole. He saw I had potential and asked me to go to coaching sessions. It started on a Monday evening then grew to two nights, then three nights and eventualy every evening.

“I moved to the Salendine Nook High School and started competing in events at county and regional level with the Huddersfield Amatuer Swimming Club. I became the best in Huddersfield, then in Yorkshire, then in the North East and George kept coaching me.

Pam Saville of Meltham - who swam in the 1972 Munich Olympics - swimming at Huddersfield Leisure Centre.

“Many of the national events were at the Derby Baths in Blackpool and I was selected for the national team. It was very disappointing when, at 14, I wasn’t selected for Mexico in 1968 even though had finished second in the trials. They felt I was too young and it was too far from home but I vowed then to make the team for Munich.

“In the build-up to Munich I was swimming five hours a day, every day of the week. I remember it was in May 1972 that I was told I was selected for the backstroke event and then as we had further trials, I was picked for the relay team. It was such an exciting time.

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“They didn’t have semi-finals at Munich, just heats and finals, and although I went out in the heats of each I was happy with my performance. That time in the individual event was my best ever and we set a new British record in the relay.”

It was to be virtually Pam’s last competitive outing. On her return to Britain she took up a post at Ilkley College to train as a teacher and went on to have a successful career in the classroom.

Pam Saville of Meltham - who swam in the 1972 Munich Olympics - swimming at Huddersfield Leisure Centre.

She taught for 12 years in a high school and then returned after having a family to spend eight years as a head teacher in Hebden Bridge.

She had amassed 17 GB caps, held three British records and was British champion four times.

She has been married to Reg for almost 40 years and has three daughters, Gemma, Heather and Louise.

The couple live in Meltham and Pam is now a regular at the Leisure Centre in Huddersfield, having swum previously at Slaithwaite.

“I used to plod up and down the lanes at Slaithwaite but the coaches at Huddersfield push us very hard and I’m getting fitter and fitter,” she said.

“It’s something I still love.”