East Leeds Masters swimmer, Bill Moore, was voted the UK’s most active person over the age of 65 in a national competition sponsored by Ateronon, the natural supplements company.
The great-grandad from Wakefield is 78 years old and although he did not start swimming until he was in his late 40s, he holds a British record in the 70-74yrs 50m Breaststroke and has won 38 national Masters titles.
“It makes me feel very proud to think that at the age of 78 I can win an award such as this,” – Bill Moore
He was presented with a gold medal and a trophy at a ceremony at the John Charles Centre for Sport, as well as a number of other prizes.
Bill was initially nominated for the North East regional award, and after winning that, he went on to be shortlisted for the National award too.
Bill competed at last weekend’s ASA National Masters and Senior Age Group Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield where he won the men’s 75/79yrs titles in the 1500m Freestyle and 200m Breaststroke and silver medals in the 50m Breaststroke, 100m Breaststroke and 800m Freestyle.
We caught up with Bill to find out what the award meant to him, and a bit about his swimming background:
How does it feel to be named the ‘The Older Actives 2015 Champion’?
To be awarded the title of the UK’s most active person over 65 is quite overwhelming. When I found out about how many people in the UK had actually entered this competition I was astonished. It makes me feel very proud to think that at the age of 78 I can win an award such as this.
My family and friends are all over the moon about this and I will strive to keep up my high standards in all that I do.
How did you first get into swimming?
I have always swum and swam for Yorkshire Schools and a full Yorkshire cap whilst still at school in the early 50s. I also had trials for the Empire Games in 1958. By then I was working and I soon got married and we had children.
The only time I swam was the summer holidays and the occasional trip to a local pool to teach my boys to swim.
Why did you get back into competitive swimming in 1985?
In 1985 I was working in a management position in the coal industry. I heard about the first Leeds Swim Marathon of 5,000 metres. I had put on a lot of weight and I thought that I would be able to do this so I trained. The weight fell off – I completed the swim and also found out about Masters swimming.
I competed in the North Eastern Masters in Scarborough and won a bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke. This set me off and I haven’t looked back since! Forty British titles later and here I am still swimming and still winning medals.
How much swimming do you do on average each week?
I usually do between 10,000 and 12,000 metres per week in the pool in four morning sessions. I also do two short gym sessions and one yoga class taught by my wife. Plus the odd walk now and again.