DIVING IN: 80-year-old Don Jones launches off the blocks during one of the many events he contested at the Gladstone Gropers Masters swim meet on Saturday.
DIVING IN: 80-year-old Don Jones launches off the blocks during one of the many events he contested at the Gladstone Gropers Masters swim meet on Saturday. Luka Kauzlaric

Eager 80-year-old dived into as many races as other swimmers

DON Jones does not swim for the benefit of anyone else or to impress people.

He does it simply for his own satisfaction, health, and to keep in touch with friends.

"It is for me," the 80-year-old said.

"It helps health wise."

Jones is in the pool three or four times a week, training in preparation for upcoming masters swimming events and keeping himself in top condition.

Jones is one of the Gladstone Gropers Masters Swimming Club's longest serving members, having joined the club in 2000.

Jones joined the Gropers after giving the sport away for almost four decades.

"I stopped when I was 28 and started again in 2000," he said.

"I had family, they were all away doing their own thing and I had some time to myself so I started again."

There was no other encouragement required with Jones quick to take the plunge into masters competition.

Jones was one of many Gladstone Gropers showing the benefits of their hard training while competing in the club's annual swim meet at the John Dahl Pool on Saturday afternoon.

The eager 80-year-old was not short of energy either, diving in as many times as any other competitor.

"I think about 10 events, I haven't added it up," he said of his schedule.

Jones, who swims about eight kilometres a week during training, generally competes in masters swim meets staged throughout the wider area.

"I have been to Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay," he said.

"The next one is Hervey Bay."



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