Athletes who show that over 50s can still compete

Athletes who show that over 50s can still compete

Think that you can’t do sports when you’ve reached middle age? Then you need to look at these top athletes who are still competing in their respective sports and showing that age is no barrier.

Alan Jones

The 71-year-old (image above) went for gold at the Judo 2018 Veteran European Championships. In the previous two tournaments, the judo coach won bronze.

He is not the only member of the over 50s community who still enjoys the sport. Many across the world participate in martial arts, and tournaments can include dozens of participants.

Sally Winter

Sally Winter is a British swimming champion. She has numerous medals and wins to her name. But it was in 2017 that Sally broke the British Age group record for the 200 metre freestyle. At the time she was competing in the 55 to 59 age group. Her record is only a fraction off the European record.

The accomplished swimmer was also able to beat the record for the 100 metre freestyle, a record that had been made in 2000.

John Wright

At 93, you might think that John Wright is too mature for serving aces and calling line offences in tennis games. But he’s the perfect example of how you can start late and play well into your life over 50.

John Wright didn’t even start playing tennis until he was 49 when he left the Merchant Navy. Now he actively participates in clubs and other tennis groups, promoting the sport and welcoming new players of all ages and abilities.

The Golden Oldies

If team sports are more to your liking, then you can be inspired by the Holcroft Grange care home who formed their own netball team. The average age of the team is 90, and there are those who have celebrated their 100th birthday in the team.

The team practice twice a week and are actively looking for teams to play against.

Dalbir Singh Deol

At age 91, Dalbir Singh Deol is the oldest person to represent Great Britain in athletics. He also has numerous world titles to his name and has claimed the European men’s 90-94 category 100m gold when he competed in it last year in Denmark.

His veteran athletic career is so distinguished that he has also starred in a documentary.

So, if you think your sporting days are over in your life after 50, you can be reassured that they don’t have to be. For those that want it, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy sport, and some of you may even be able to compete professionally.


  • Stephen

    Stephen is now retired. He spent 25 years in community welfare and is one of the co-founders of life over 50. He has a keen interest in everything concerning this special age group.....and makes valuable contributions to the site. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, cycling and gardening. Also a keen jazz music lover!

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One thought on “Athletes who show that over 50s can still compete

  1. It’s so amazing to hear of so many instances where people over 50’s or even over 90’s have achieved such great results! It just goes to show you that it’s all in the mind. If you believe you can and truly want it and don’t give up then you can do it no matter the age. All these stories are very inspiring and motivate me to push on and try to better myself. I’m trying to love life and not complain about some health problems that are starting to pop-up. It happens with age and while I will deal with them I don’t want them to be my main focus. I want to enjoy my life!

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