Five members of Exeter Golf and Country Club have raised £465 swimming for Sports Relief, as the pinnacle of one of the personal challenges they set themselves a year ago – to learn to swim!
Just over a year ago, Jenny Plummer a member of Exeter Golf and Country Club for over 50 years, who also worked at the club for over 20 years before retiring in December 2010, got together with four friends and suggested they set themselves mini challenges to learn new skills. Four of the five ladies are over 60 years old and with retirement, found themselves in a position to develop new skills and lifelong ambitions.
Together with her friends, Caroline York, Helen Mortimer, Liz Partridge and Sue Nott, Jenny set the wheels in motion.
Beforehand all 5 ladies had very basic swimming skills consisting of leisurely breaststroke in distances of widths rather than lengths. Enlisting the help of Exeter Golf and Country Club swimming instructor, Nigel Murch, the ladies, who called themselves, ‘The Improvers’, started a weekly training session and in time and with a lot of hard work, found that their swimming skills had increased to include front crawl, butterfly, back stroke, tumble-turns and diving.
To celebrate their achievements, ‘The Improvers’ decided to set a specific challenge – to each swim the Sport Relief Mile.
Jenny Plummer said, “As ladies in or approaching our 60s, we decided that it was time to fulfil ambitions we have secretly harbored, so we got together and called our group challenges, ‘Missed Opportunities’! Swimming is so important for many reasons and is an ideal form of exercise for someone needing a low impact routine. All my life, I have been involved in sport but never realized just how enjoyable swimming could be, when you know how to swim well!”
On Friday 23rd March, Sport Relief Day, the 5 ladies met at the indoor swimming pool at Exeter Golf and Country Club and with instructor, Nigel supporting and monitoring them they each swam 90 lengths in under an hour and individually achieved the Sport Relief Mile.
Their fundraising for the event raised almost £500 for the charity and has spurred them onto work towards another challenge in the coming months.
Now they are proficient swimmers they are considering also joining an affiliated swimming club to participate in Masters swim events, as well as considering other types of swimming competitions such as open sea swimming.
Jenny continued, “We are incredibly proud of ourselves to have managed to swim so far and owe it to Nigel for his patience, experience and determination to help us achieve our ambition and to raise this money for the charity! We are already planning our next challenge and hope to keep improving and keep learning new skills!”
For more information about Exeter Golf and Country Club visit their feature on thebestof Exeter here or call 01392 308 107 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01392 308 107 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
PHOTOGRAPH ATTACHED, left to right: Caroline York, Helen Mortimer, Jenny Plummer and Liz Partridge