Fitness, fun and friendship

MOE South’s Sue Graham swims for two reasons: have fun and keep her back mobile.

The 55 year-old member of the Gippsland Flippers masters swimming club only learned to swim in her late 20s, but instantly noticed the health benefits.

“I had a back problem, and I found that swimming helped me so much,” she said.

“Now I find that if I don’t swim, my back starts to play up and as we get older, it’s so important to keep your joints mobile which is what swimming does for you.”

The Gippsland Flippers swim weekly at Newborough and once per month at Morwell, and is open to anyone over 18 years of age who can swim at least 25 metres.

“The motto for masters swimming is ‘fun, fitness and friendship’ and we really focus on the fun and friendship part,” Graham said.

“Swimming is such a great sport because while it’s easy on your body, it’s fantastic for muscle tone and weight loss because you use almost every part of your body when you swim.”

Graham enjoys being part of the club because it “gives you a reason” to come and swim, making it an “excellent catalyst” for getting people into the pool.

While the emphasis is on the social aspects, a number of Flippers recently participated in the state long course championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Graham finished the day with victories in the 200-metre backstroke, the 50m butterfly and a medley relay, as well as thirds in the 100m backstroke and 50m freestyle.

Her teammates also did well, with new member Carolyn Grasby coming second in the 50m backstroke.

Margaret Reynolds came first in her 50m freestyle, third in the 50m backstroke and was also part of a winning medley relay team.

Pete Wilson, who competes in the strongest age group, collected thirds in the 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke as well as coming first in two relays, one of which broke the Victorian record.

This Saturday, the Flippers are hosting their own swimming meet at the Warragul Leisure Centre starting at 6pm.

“Swimmers from Sale and Melbourne will be making the trip, and anyone who wants to come and watch (can),” Graham said.

The club is also looking to start Wednesday night training sessions at the Morwell Leisure Centre, in addition to the current Sunday morning sessions.

There will be no joining fee and no obligation to join the club, according to Graham.

“It’s just a great way to exercise and meet people,” Graham said.

For more information about the sessions or the meet on Saturday, phone Pete Wilson on 0413 149 034 or Sue Graham on 0415 751 175.