Cincinnati USA Women’s Sports Association honored our Dad with the Donna DeVarona Spirit Award at their annual banquet on April 24.
Our Dad has been a passionate volunteer with this incredible organization for many years. My sister and I accepted the award in his honor. Below are my remarks:
Hi I’m Liz Keating — and this is my sister Caroline Keating — and we’re the proud daughters of Bill Keating, Jr.
Back in the early seventies, a guy and a girl swam together for the Cincinnati Marlins. They competed together at the University of Cincinnati. They both broke records and won medals. The guy was my Dad, Bill Keating, Jr. He broke UC school records and won medals at his conference championships. The girl was was Jenny Kemp. She broke world records and the medal she won was an Olympic Gold. My Dad got a varsity letter from UC, Jenny did not.
That made an impression on my Dad. To see that his sisters, and the women around him — even though some were a lot more successful in the sport than he was — did not have the same opportunities that he and his brothers did. He decided to change that. He spent the rest of his life actively working to improve the opportunities for my sister and me, our peers, and the generations that will come behind us. He worked tirelessly to empower women not only on the field, on the court, and in the pool, but also in the classroom, in the office, in the boardroom, and within the community.
The opportunities my sister and I had to compete in high school and college, and the opportunities all of you have are because of my people like my Dad, like Jenny, and the pioneers of women’s sports.
As you sit here tonight, being honored, or helping honor these fantastic student-athletes, I hope you’ll be inspired by my Dad. As you continue to find success in your academic and athletic careers, I hope you’ll reach back and help those who come behind you and make it even better for the next generation.
We’ve come a long way since the 1970s, but we have a long way to go… and it’s on our shoulders now to make a difference. Thank You for honoring our Dad tonight.