General News:

Septuagenarian swimmer says “you’re never too old to try something new”


A 73-year-old Sport Aberdeen member has conquered a lifelong fear of the water and finished her final swimming assessment as part of a local adult swimming programme.

Jennifer Whittet recently completed the ‘Adult Improvers Learn to Swim’ programme at Bridge of Don Swimming Pool. The programme is delivered by Aquatics Aberdeen, part of award-winning charity Sport Aberdeen.

Jennifer recalls beginning her swimming journey whilst at primary school with the assistance of her father, but always struggled to find confidence in the water.

Now, many years on, after attending a Learn to Swim taster class as part of the city’s Golden Games in 2018, Jennifer was given a much-needed boost in confidence which sparked off a new desire to take to the water once again! She proceeded to enrol in the beginners’ class at Bridge of Don Swimming Pool where she has since gone from strength to strength.

Speaking about her time on the Sport Aberdeen Learn to Swim programme, Jennifer said:

“My favourite part of learning to swim with Sport Aberdeen was moving from the beginner to improver level. I have had great instructors who have helped me work on my strokes and helped me gain confidence in the deep end.

“My advice to anyone who feels they are too old to learn a new physical skill, be it swimming or otherwise is to give it a try. You are never too old to learn something new!

“My newfound confidence in the water means that I am no longer afraid to go swimming on my own and actually swam in the sea last time I was on holiday.” 

Dianne Breen, Sport Aberdeen Coached Programmes Manager said:

“The Learn to Swim programme’s main aim is to encourage and enable people of all ages and abilities to swim with confidence and take part in physical activity more often.  

“Stories such as Jennifer’s are a great reminder that the hard work of our instructors and the wider Aquatics Aberdeen team has a huge impact on a personal level, allowing people to learn new skills and in some cases move past barriers that have persisted for a long time, allowing our participants to really enjoy the sport.”