It’s never too late to enjoy swimming
6 May 2010
Four of Leicestershire’s oldest swimmers have discovered it’s never too late to enjoy swimming and could even lead to meeting the stars of British Swimming.
European medallists Kate Haywood and Grant Turner met three of the quartet in an extraordinary celebration recognising their achievements.
The British athletes presented the energetic and inspirational group of senior citizens with medals and certificates to mark their life-long participation in swimming.
The oldest swimmer was crowned as Pat Ward who at 97 takes regular lunchtime dips, however she was unable to attend the event due to a recent fall although she plans to be back in the water very soon.
John Walford, 91, recounted a story from the D-Day landings when his self-taught swimming strokes guided him safely onto the beaches of France from a landing craft.
George Kirk, 89, swims once a week and enjoys swimming as a gentle form of exercise almost as much as he enjoys the social interactions. He was joined by Alan Woods, 81, who began swimming to keep up with his sons when they swam for Leicestershire, a few decades ago, and intends to maintain his daily 25-length target.
Between them, Leicestershire’s oldest swimmers amassed an incredible 342 years and without exception they all plan to continue to swim for the good of their health as long as possible.
When asked if they would like to pass on any ‘words of wisdom’ to Olympic hopefuls Haywood and Turner, Norman Hamblett, 81, commented, “it’s all down to technique!”