Jones shows pride in his sports medal

By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

THERE'S no question that veteran swimmer Don Jones will treasure his sports award medal, presented at the Gladstone City Council Australia Day ceremony last week.

'It's the first time I've received one,' Jones said with a smile this week.

'It's taken me 70 years to win one and I don't think I can wait another 70 years for another one.'

Jones received the award ahead of a class field of finalists ? Michael England (cycling, triathlon), Prue Oswin (running, triathlon) and Bianca Nathan (hockey, indoor hockey).

Despite that, the award was well-deserved icing on the cake for Jones who enjoyed an outstanding year on the masters swimming circuit in 2005, including a massive medal haul at the Queensland Masters Swimming State Short Course meet in Cairns in November. Jones broke five state breaststroke and one backstroke record, his effort in the 200m breaststroke also bettering the previous national mark. His performance improved on the state record he had set in the same event in Rockhampton last February.

The amiable veteran also snared five gold and one silver medal at the state titles earlier in the year at Southport. Jones will not be as busy this year, cutting back on the nine meets he contested in 2005.

'I think it was a bit too much for me,' he said. '"I felt a bit flat after the Cairns meet.'

However, there is no doubt he will continue to give his all in every meet he does contest, considering each a race against himself in a bid to continue bettering his performances.

While appreciative of the awards which have come his way during his masters swimming career, Jones said participation and fitness were the biggest rewards for his involvement.

'It's a well-used phrase, 'use it or lose it' and I really believe that,'' Jones said.

'With every swim you carry the odd ache or pain but you learn to live with that.'



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