A pensioner from Sheffield has made a splash on the national swimming scene - by being crowned Senior Swimmer of the Year.
Naomi Crowder, aged 77, was recognised as one of the country’s unsung swimming stars in the 2013 Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards.
The mum from Westminster Close, Lodge Moor, travelled to Birmingham to swim with the stars of British swimming including Paralympic gold medalist and BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year, Josef Craig.
The workout was followed by an awards ceremony at Edgbaston cricket ground, attended by top swimmers including Olympic medalist Sharron Davies and Commonwealth champion, Robbie Renwick.
The Kellogg’s Swimtastic Awards are organised by the ASA, the national governing body for swimming, and celebrate the achievements of swimmers of all ages and abilities from around the country.
Devoted swimmer Naomi is the oldest member of the City of Sheffield Masters Squad.
She is one of the most regular attendees at training and can always be found ploughing up and down the pool with her characteristic determination.
Naomi was a 2012 Games Maker and is hoping to volunteer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
She told The Star: “To win the award has been absolutely fantastic and such a huge surprise.
“I should have been in Australia now with my daughter Rachel but I cancelled the trip when I found out I was nominated and she has flown over her to the UK to be with me - it’s been brilliant.”
She added: “My daughter was the one who got me swimming again.
“She entered me into the New Zealand Masters Games when I was 70 and since then I haven’t looked back.
“I just love being in the water - I love the friendships of the people that I swim with.
“I like the fact that it’s good for my body because it’s non weight-bearing - and I love open water swimming, that is my real passion.”
Sharron Davies said swimmers aged from five to 94 had been recognised.
She said: “It’s great to see people from all levels of the sport coming together to celebrate with those who may not be on TV or in the public eye, but who work quietly behind the scenes to keep the sport alive.”