BADMINTON: Age is just a number and, for some members of Lynnsport Ladies Badminton that does not stop at 15 but carried on to 80 and beyond.
The group began in 2002 and has more than 20 members, including three over the age of 80, who are still as active and fit as all the others.
One of the octogenarians, Margaret Toll, has been playing badminton since the age of 13. She started at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange and said: “I’ve always been active since I was young. I began with badminton then I taught swimming at St James Pool for many years.
“I also play table tennis at Lynnsport as well as badminton three times a week. My husband and I try to walk or cycle to Lynnsport every week, weather dependant. We really enjoy all the clubs at Lynnsport and have made many friends.”
Hazel Greenfield, also in her 80s, said: “When I retired I came to Women’s Wednesday and Janis Baker taught me to play badminton. That was nearly 20 years ago and I’m still here. I also used to teach swimming at St James Pool, so exercise has always been important to me. I enjoy badminton and all the friendships I’ve made. I feel so pleased I can still run around and keep active at my age. It gives me a boost and keeps me feeling young.”
The group’s third 80-plus year old is Marian Wilson, who has been going to Lynnsport since it opened more than 27 years ago and also plays bowls and table tennis.
“It’s a varied age group of ladies and everyone here is so friendly and encouraging,” she said.
National Level 2 coach Janis Baker leads the sessions and said: “We have ladies here playing in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. They are a fantastic group who all enjoy the badminton, but it’s not just about the sport, these ladies regularly meet up socially, which is so important for your overall well-being, it’s so much more than just the exercise, a mix of the two is the way forward.”
Lynnsport Ladies Badminton meets on Mondays (9am-noon) and Wednesdays (9-11am) with a session at Downham Market on Saturdays (8.30-10.30am).