Sheila entered this world on the 6th of September 1944, up in Sunderland. She was the only child born to proud parents, James and Florence Gibbs.
Sheila married Graham McLeod on the 15th of May 1971.
In the 70’s, Graham and Sheila moved into Staffordshire.
They had a son Steuart was born in 1973, followed by his younger sister Emma in 1974.
In the early 1980’s their children’s sporting abilities had a major influence on the McLeod’s lives for many years to come. Their son Steuart and daughter Emma showed promise in the swimming pool. As most parents with talented sporting kids will know, a lot of time has to be given up in ferrying them around to training and competitions. Usually, with the majority of sports, this is quite local but, of course, the more successful the child becomes, the more demanding the trips are. In tandem with this, a lot step up to become coaches and committee members.
Sheila became intertwined with her children's development through Lichfield Swimming Club, into elite National status. Sheila took coaching badges along the way, became a timekeeper, a judge and finally became the President of the Staffordshire Amateur Swimming Association.
As a lot of us will have heard, its triumph over adversity for much of English sport: Sheila had to have Emma at the poolside ready for training in Aston, Birmingham, at 5 a.m. each morning and quite a lot of evening sessions, pre and post public use.
In the meantime, son Steuart, was also achieving the same sort of level within the UK swimming fraternity. He had won a scholarship to one of the top sporting public schools, Millfield in Somerset.
Steuart focused his sporting future on cycling with his ultimate aim to be in one of the professional teams that compete in the various European road races, including of course, the ultimate test of the Tour de France. Sadly, in 1997, this talented cyclist was cut down in his prime in a collision with a lorry near Coventry whilst out riding one morning. The family had to pick up the pieces from this shattering tragedy. Sheila continued her Swimming interest with Lichfield Swimming Club.
Sheila had joined the Staffordshire ASA Executive Committee in 1996,
Sheila was very proud to become Staffordshire President in December 2006 to December 2007. As a past president you never step down and you are entitled to go to any of the Association meeting, which she did occasionally. Sheila was very swimmer orientated and always did the best she could for the swimmers of Staffordshire.
Sheila also swam for the County Masters Team in Hull, Staffordshire’s very first Masters Inter County competition.
Continuing with her enthusiasm for swimming she worked for Staffordshire County Council as a Sports Development Officer. Sheila was on board to assist with swimming and relished the chance to help as many of the County’s swimming clubs as she could, over the years.
Her friends and colleagues have said that Sheila had a passion for swimming and her name was well known throughout the county.
Despite our best efforts, time has a habit of catching up with us. Sheila started getting a little worried that she couldn’t complete her usual 40 lengths of the Health Clubs swimming pool, going down to only 2 or 3. After some health checks in 2019, Sheila was found to have Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Her overall fitness gave her much fortitude and resilience to mount a strong defense against this very debilitating illness over her last 4 years.
On 18th March 2023, Sheila slipped away to new horizons, aged 78.
Sheila was a superb President of the Association and ambassador for swimming.