Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 08:45 UK
Steve finally takes the plunge

Steve Williams
Steve Williams won the Senior Swimmer Gold Award at the Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards 2009

Grandfather Steve Williams has been awarded the UK's senior swimmer of the year for conquering his fear of water and learning to swim at the age of 56.

Steve , of Ffynnongroyw, started to learn two years ago at Holywell Leisure Centre thanks to coach Karen Snee - who nominated him for the award - and who managed to coax him back into the water for the first time in nearly 50 years.

I couldn't think of a bigger challenge than getting in the water
Steve Williams

Said Steve: "I had a morbid fear of water. I hadn't been in the water since school when I was six or seven."

After suffering mental health problems in 2005, Steve's doctor recommended he take up a mental and physical challenge to help him get back to health.

"I couldn't think of a bigger challenge than getting in the water," said Steve, a grandfather of four.

Finally, last year, he had the confidence to take to the water himself, enjoying a summer holiday in Greece with partner Ruth when, for the first time, he was able to get in the hotel pool after years of previous holidays sitting on the poolside.

Today his mother, Eve, and eldest daughter Jackie, 30, will see him in the water for the first time.

They're going along to the Kellogg's ASA Swimtastic Awards 2009 ceremony in Stratford-Upon-Avon which involves Steve swimming with stars past and present from the Team GB swimming team.

The awards recognise people of all ages and abilities as well as those responsible for providing learn to swim lessons.

"The award has come out of the blue," said Steve. "It's an excellent surprise."




OTHER RELATED BBC LINKS


BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific