Meet a member – Grace

Did you know that Spencer had an Olympic swimmer? Grace represented England/Great Britain at the 1950 Empire Games in New Zealand and the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

Grace swam her first swimming race in Blackpool where she had been evacuated during WW2.  She was the only person in the class who could swim!  She went on to swim for Bristol Central SC, where her favourite event was 440 yards freestyle.

Now 85, with three children, seven grandchildren and (at the last count) four great-grandchildren, she is a member of our very successful older age-group relay team.  Grace is very proud of the world records the team has set which resulted in her being the subject of a TV programme about her swimming achievements.

Grace also competes in the individual events, but now concentrates on backstroke events as she finds it increasingly difficult to get up onto the starting blocks.  She has just returned from competing at the South African National Championships, where she swept the board with gold in all three of the backstroke events.  Next up is the GBs in Plymouth, and Europeans in Slovenia in September.

Now retired, a recent knee replacement has not got in the way of her swimming.  Grace still trains three times a week, making up her own sets, and surprising the other swimmers who assume that, given her white hair, she will just want to swim head-up breaststroke.  They really should not underestimate Grace!

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