Swimmers Grant Hall and Bob Whittet

Senior swimmers bring home the wins

Two members of the SEAPARC Rip Currents to go to Nationals

Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

 

Two local men, members of the SEAPARC Rip Currents masters swim team, have qualified for the Nationals in Kelowna after a meet at the Commonwealth Pool at the end of March.

Bob Whittet, 70 years old, came in first in the 50 metre breast stroke with a time of 52.18 and a time of 1:56.62 for the 100 metre breast stroke coming in second.

Grant Hall, 77 years old, had five first place wins in the 50 (time :38.20),100 (1:25.84), 200 (3:22.32) and 400 (7:19.44) metre freestyle; and the 50 metre fly with a time of :48.14.

Both men were coached by Jen Bell.

The B.C. Master’s Swimming Competition is for “seniors” between the ages of 22-99.

Whittet said this is only the second meet he has been in. He started swimming after his partner Janet got him to take a swim fit class at SEAPARC. He is also a runner.

“Like most people I swam in varying degrees all my life,” said Whittet.

He said competing was Jen Bell’s doing.

“She had a history of competitive swimming and she worked on our strokes and talked us into some races. Last summer was my first,” he said.

As a newcomer to swimming competitions at the age of 70, Whittet said it is great fun and they find themselves laughing a lot.

“Thanks to Jen Bell’s coaching I can do this, and this is a great community to be involved in. Jen is wonderful — enthusiastic and that enthusiasm rubs off on everyone.”

He is inspired by the people he meets and said you can meet a 20 year old who was close to competing in the Olympics to a 92 year old still swimming well.

“It’s inspiration from one end to the other.”

Whittet swims three times a week, two times for practice and once for himself.

The Nationals take place in Kelowna in about five weeks.