Saturday, June 17, 2017

Heatwave and sunshine arrive for Day 2 of the British Masters

"For anyone thinking of getting into Masters I would say why not? Why wouldn't I want to keep healthy, why wouldn't I want to make lifelong friendships and why wouldn't I want something positive in my life?"

The sun shone and a heatwave arrived for Day 2 of the British Masters and Senior Age Group Championships in Aberdeen with swimmers enjoying the mix of competitive swimming and the relaxed, fun and friendly atmosphere that is the trademark of Masters swimming.

Sophie Casson continued to show good form on Day 2 setting a new British and European Masters record of 4:23.39 in the 30-34 age group for 400m Freestyle. British records just kept on coming with 7 broken in the morning, 11 in the afternoon and 3 new British records in the evening heats including relay medals for Aberdeen Dolphins, Brighton Dolphins, Silver City Blues and Basingstoke.

Catching up with some of today's swimmers, Kathleen Tunnicliffe, a former school teacher who set a new British record of 39:44 for the 65-69 category in the 50m Backstroke reflected on the event:

"To me swimming is everything. I have been swimming for twenty years as a Master swimmer after a thirty year gap. It keeps me fit, healthy and gives me a goal to work towards which is great."

"For anyone thinking of getting into Masters I would say why not? Why wouldn't I want to keep healthy, why wouldn't I want to make lifelong friendships and why wouldn't I want something positive in my life?"

We also caught up with Judy Hattle who still holds the European Masters records for 50m Butterfly and 200m Butterfly.

Judy commented:

"The venue here has been fantastic - it's so modern, light and bright. The high standard of  commentary and graphics celebrating British and European records as they happen has been praised by everyone and makes a real difference to the swimmers."

One of the best things about a Masters and Senior Age Groups Championships is the variation in ages which it attracts. This weekend we have had 18 year olds swimming alongside 80 year olds with enthusiasm in abundance at both ends of the spectrum.

Ross Young (18) from Edinburgh University was delighted to be swimming at the event, 

"I swam as a child and have just kept it going at University. Seeing the range of ages swimming at this event is really inspiring and I hope I am still swimming well into my eighties too." 

One of the most inspirational swimmers at the Championships is Jane Asher. At 86 she is our oldest competitor but there are few people who can match her fitness and zest for life. Jane holds 11 world records out of a possible 17 in her age category including all the freestyle distances for her age group. Jane started Masters swimming around 30 years ago, spurred on after racing some of the younger swimmers she had taught in a fun competition. 

"I have never looked back. I do it because it is such good fun! Everyone smiles at the end, shakes hands, spurs each other on. The personal sense of achievement is great but I have met so many good friends through Masters swimming."

A full round up of major records broken will be recorded after the weekend.

Full results from today’s action can be found HERE

The British Masters and Senior Age Group Championships run from 16-18 June; the event programme can be found HERE

The event hashtag to follow the action on social media is #BritMasters2017.

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