Littlehampton leisure centre marks Daphne’s inspirational efforts

Daphne with Andrew Smith, left, John Stride, right' L03802H15
Daphne with Andrew Smith, left, John Stride, right' L03802H15

LEISURE chiefs in Littlehampton have praised a remarkable pensioner for her inspirational feat of endurance over the past 12 months.

Daphne Belt, of Toddington Lane, Toddington, has received a special plaque from the head of Inspire Leisure, which runs the Inspire Littlehampton swimming and sports centre where she has trained for 26 years.

John Stride, chief executive of company, said: “Daphne’s achievements are truly astonishing and are an inspiration to all of us.

“For someone who didn’t take up sport until she was 50 this is remarkable.”

In August, Daphne set herself a challenge of completing 75 mini-triathlons just before her 75th birthday.

For 75 days she completed a 1,000m swim, 15,000m bike ride and then a 3,000m run, without a break.

Her efforts raised a stellar £6,170 for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, in Poling – putting her in the top one per cent of the charity’s fundraisers.

But as if that was not enough, determined dynamo Daphne was also crowned ITU World Champion in her age group after storming to an impressive victory – beating her nearest opponent by almost an hour.

Daphne said: “It’s lovely to be recognised by Inspire Leisure where I have trained for the last 26 years. “

She is now training for the ITU World Championships in Chicago in September.