The Masters Hub continues to look deeper into the lives and personalities at the heart of the UK Masters community through our ‘Beneath The Surface’ feature.
Look out for video interviews as well as some fantastic underwater photos courtesy of GB Swimstars.
Our sixth feature is with 48-year old swimming convert Carolyn Breeze. She took up swimming after joint injuries stopped her from training for athletics but she hasn’t looked back since learning to swim two years ago and now competes and trains with Grantham Masters Swimming Club…
Why did you first become involved in Masters swimming?
I learnt to swim two years ago because I had to change sports for health reasons. I was a track athlete – a sprinter and jumper – and I couldn’t run any more because of joint issues.
Swimming just gave me that edge where you can work really hard and still stay really fit without harming your joints. Changing sports so late in life has been a real challenge and I’ve had so much support from other Masters swimmers to learn all four strokes and get into the sport. It’s been an uphill climb but it’s been fantastic.
How long did it take to go from learning to swim to competing as a Masters swimmer?
My first competition was after about three months. I went out to Spain for the Spanish Masters and that was really exciting and inspired me to carry on. Then I came to British Nationals in Sheffield and really enjoyed that as well.
How often do you train?
I train twice a week for an hour each time. I also do a couple of gym sessions in between.
How do you spend your time when you’re not in the pool?
Aside from the gym, I work full time in a secondary school as an administrator and I have two teenage children who swim competitively. I have only recently moved back to live in England after living in Majorca for more than 20 years where I worked on yachts as a crew member and chef.
What are your favourite events?
50m and 100m Breaststroke.
What is the highest accolade you have achieved?
I was part of a relay team which came fourth at the Spanish Nationals in 2012 despite only having learned to swim three months before.
What do you love about swimming?
The challenge and how fit it makes me feel. The camaraderie is what attracted me to it in the first place.
What do you hate about swimming?
It can be very hard and physically demanding, especially when you are not fit! Also, progression can be slow.
What are you most proud of in your swimming career?
That I learnt to swim all four strokes at the age of 46 (especially butterfly) and that I have a legal time for fly!
What are you most proud of out of the water?
My children. They are amazing!!!