Great-grandma Christine finally able to take the plunge at age of 72

A GREAT-GRANDMA who dreamed of being able to swim for more than 60 years mastered the skill within 20 minutes of her first lesson!

Christine Launcers, from Wincobank, Sheffield, has always loved water but never learned to swim.

The 72-year-old had been so desperate to splash about she started going to aqua-aerobics classes - but soon began to feel nervous and was unable to fully take part.

Christine said: "I felt terrified of going under the water.

"I would be so tense I wouldn't do the exercises properly. I would go home and pray I would one day be able to swim."

The mum-of-six - who also has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren - felt she was missing out, so decided to seek help from staff at Concord Sports Centre in Shiregreen, who organised a course of lessons with instructor Debbie Colley.

Christine said: "Debbie was fantastic, she gets in the water with you and makes you feel really confident straight away.

"Within 20 minutes of my first lesson with her I was swimming! It's made me so confident and after a session I feel like a revitalised person in my body and my mind.

"When I tell people I'm 72 and I've just learned to swim you'd be surprised how many people say they too should really learn or take lessons again.

"They've been sparked by my enthusiasm and I hope others are too because it's nothing to be embarrassed about."

Debbie said everyone at the leisure centre was very proud of Christine's efforts.

She said: "Christine had low confidence and anxiety but has overcome them to participate in the lessons.

"Her confidence has soared since she started swimming and I hope others follow in her footsteps - it's a great way to make new friends as well as learn new skills and improve fitness. Everyone at the centre thinks she is amazing and an excellent role model."

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