'˜Get active and believe' says 71-year-old after swim success

A 71-year-old Rustington woman is encouraging older people to get active after swimming 1.5 kilometres for charity.

Thursday, 13th April 2017, 9:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:45 pm
Ann Lizzimore took part in a swimathon at Littlehampton swimming centre. Pictured with her husband Bryan. Picture: Derek Martin

On Saturday, two days before her 71st birthday, Ann Lizzimore swam 60 lengths of the 25m pool at Littlehampton Swimming and Sports Centre in one hour, three minutes, slashing twelve minutes off her target.

The retired Debenhams bra fitter has raised more than £300 for Marie Curie as part of the national Swimathon fundraising event.

She said: “They say 50 is the new 40, but 70 is the new 60 because our age group is more aware of keeping fit and eating healthily. I can’t imagine my mother at my age doing this.

Ann Lizzimore celebrating after completing the Swimathon

“Get active and believe in yourself; that is the key.”

Ann said she felt ‘absolutely brilliant’ when she finished her final lap, and her husband Bryan, 66, who works at The Littlehampton Academy, was there to count for her.

It was a poignant moment as that day 23 years ago her brother Michael died, and the day after was the 21st anniversary of her mother Golda’s death. She said she felt them both ‘cheering her on’ when she was in the pool.

It has been a long road to this moment for Ann, who had to give up swimming a few years ago due to knee and foot problems which required operations. After her most recent knee replacement, Ann decided enough was enough.

Ann Lizzimore celebrating after completing the Swimathon

She said: “I had to be on crutches for six weeks and just sat in front of the TV. That was when I decided I wanted to get fit again.”

Arun Wellbeing gave her a personal trainer, Angie, free of charge for six weeks, which kick-started her training for the Swimathon. Ann hopes to swim 100 lengths of the pool for next year’s event.

She wanted to say a ‘massive thank you’ to Angie, who donated £10 to her swimathon efforts, and all her family and friends for supporting her.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.