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.