91yo swimmer ready for Masters games

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(Supplied: Pan Pacific Masters Games) ABC Gold Coast

By Damien Larkins and Nicole Dyer


November 04, 2016 16:01:48

Don Robertson has been swimming since the age of five.
I want to beat them,” he said.The 2016 Pan Pacific Masters Games are on at the Gold Coast from November 5–13. At the age of 91, Don Robertson is one of the oldest competitors at the 2016 Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast. Having said that, I hope they’re not too good. External Link:

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Mr Robertson will be swimming in six events and, although training has been hell, he is ready to “bring it on”.The Gold Coast local has been swimming since he was five years old.”My mum took my water wings off me and told me ‘You can swim into the shore’,” he said.”After going under a couple of times I think even at five I realised, Don, you can swim.”He dog-paddled into the shore and never donned the water wings again.Since then he has competed at a national level and spent 30 years as a swim official, including being a starter at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games.Now he swims a kilometre every day in the pool at his retirement home.”It’s too easy to sit back and say I’m too old, but I’ve thought, no, I can do that,” he said. Photo:
Don Robertson is ready to bring it on at the 2016 Pan Pacific Masters Games. (Supplied: Pan Pacific Masters Games)
Normally swimming is a chance to relax, but once Mr Robertson had entered the games, he said he got the idea he needed to train.”It’s been hell,” he said with a laugh.”I’m glad that the games are eventually here so that I can stop training.”The nonagenarian is fit as a fiddle, having never smoked or drunk alcohol, except once during a year-long stint in the army stationed in the 40-plus degree heat at Woomera.”The only cold drink was a beer so I started to drink one middy beer every afternoon after work,” he said.Mr Robertson did that for 12 months and when he left, his mates said he had the taste and would never give it up.”I said I don’t like the taste, I only drink it cause it’s cold and wet,” he said.Mr Robertson is looking forward to the masters competition.”I’d like some opposition in my age group.