The legacy left on swimming in the Illawarra by the McKeon family will be recognised on Saturday night at a celebration of their commitment to the sport.
Forty years after they arrived in Wollongong, tributes to the work of Rick, Ron and the family will be delivered at the dinner at the Towradgi Beach Hotel.
A host of recognisable names will speak of the legacy left by the McKeons, with surf lifesaving star Darren Mercer and Olympians Jarrod Poort and David McKeon to deliver tributes.
The McKeons have had a presence in Wollongong since the late 1970s when Rick McKeon moved to the area from Sydney.
Rick established a swimming squad in Port Kembla, before a move to Unanderra, and it didn't take him long to produce a number of top athletes both in the pool and the surf.
Son Michael McKeon was one of Rick's earliest stars, with Michael moving into coaching and helping contribute to the development of a number of top surf-swimmers throughout the early 2000s.
After an illustrious individual career, Ron McKeon also returned to the Illawarra to join the family business, Ron coaching alongside Rick before taking charge of the program in the mid 1990s.
Ron and wife Susie then helped develop the McKeon Swim School in Unanderra, which has grown to four locations in recent years.
While David and Emma McKeon are instantly recognisable, Poort, Bobby Hurley and surf stars Ali Day and Wes Berg are among the athletes who have emerged from the McKeon production line.
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