pensioner, 85, sets new British swimming record
Burnham-On-Sea pensioner has proven that age is no barrier to
success by breaking a British swimming record over the weekend.
Cole, 85, set a new British record when he took part in a 50-metre
event at the Welsh Open Masters Swimming Championships in Wales
on Saturday (March 5th).
competed in the mens 85-89 year-old age group 50m breaststroke
long-course and set a time of 59.45 seconds, smashing the previous
British record by around two seconds.
accomplishment is all the more remarkable because he only re-started
swimming in 2014 after a 68-year gap.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I gave up swimming when I was 15
back in 1946 - the opportunities then were not the same as today
even though I loved the sport and was a strong swimmer. There
was a 68-year gap before I got back into the pool in 2014."
just wondered if I could still swim, and gave it a go. Despite
feeling exhausted the first few times I kept it going and now
swim at Burnham Pool three times a week."
one occasion Sara from the Swim and Sports Academy asked whether
I'd considered entering the Swimming Masters. I didn't think I'd
have a chance, but said I'd give it a go."
went along to my first race at Millfield last year and, standing
on the starting blocks that day, I can remember thinking 'what
I am doing?' I haven't swum two lengths for years. I just hoped
the adrenaline would keep me going. Well, it did and I won gold!"
went on to win another gold at the Somerset and Gloucester Masters,
followed by a silver medal at the British National Masters in
latest competition was the Welsh Open Masters Championships in
Swansea on Saturday.
drove the 99-miles across to Wales to compete in the 50m breaststroke
long-course and I was very pleased to win gold in my age group
85-89. But while I knew I'd won gold straight away, it wasn't
until Saturday evening when I'd driven back to Burnham that I
heard from Sara that the organisers had confirmed that I'd actually
broken the British record!"
I could hardly believe it. I'm just so delighted and hugely pleased."
added: "I love swimming - the people I swim with here in
Burnham are so nice and the Academy staff are so supportive and
full of encouragement."
is now looking forward to taking part in the European Championships
for his age group, which will be held at the Olympic Pool in London
later this year.
says age is no barrier for swimming. "To have been out of
the water for 68 years and then to come back and swim competitively
at age 85 is incredible. It's not something I thought would ever
happen to me!"
Cox-Conklin from Burnham Swim and Sports Academy says everyone
is so pleased for him, adding: "Grenville is a remarkable
athlete whom we are so proud of. He's truly been an inspiration
to everyone here and we are all so excited for him."
hear his story about how he never gave up on his childhood dreams
of swimming competitively is fantastic - he didn't have the opportunity
at the age of 15 but now he does and he's winning. He's a legend."
Sara Cox-Conklin from Burnham Swim and Sports Academy with Grenville
Cole, 85, who has set a new British swimming record