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2016 WOWSA AWARD WINNERS
2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
2016 WOWSA Woman of the Year – Jaimie Monahan
2016 WOWSA Performance of the Year – Sarah Thomas’ Lake Powell Swim
2016 WOWSA Offering of the Year – Samsung Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim
Monday, February 29, 2016
What Could Be Better? Dr Roger Allsopp And Open Water
We find Dr Roger Allsopp to be one of the most fascinating and humble individuals in the global open water swimming community. His energy is palpable; his personality is engaging; his smile is contagious.
And his swimming pedigree is without question.
In 2011, the retired surgeon and active big-thinker and fund-raiser became the oldest person to swim across the English Channel* when he swam from England to France in 17 hours 51 minutes.
Besides his most recent entry into the winter swimming community, he continues his inspirational work among aging Baby Boomers. "For twelve or more years, I have been chairman of Hope for Guernsey which is a locally registered charity that fund raises for Wessex Medical Research. They concentrate on start-up grants for innovative medical research projects to be carried out at Southampton University.
The focus of the money that we have raised over the past 10 years has been towards proteomic markers in the blood of patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other cancers. The proteins can be identified as a fingerprint of disease to help in early diagnosis and hopefully in future as a measure of response or otherwise to treatment. It is still early days.
Analysis of proteins is done on a mass spectrometer. One of our goals was to raise the money for a state-of-the-art mass spectrometer for Southampton University costing £500.000 (2011) We are working with Professor Paul Townsend who is now based in Manchester [at the Institute of Cancer Sciences]; he is one of the leaders in the field. He is the one who deserves the credit for the achievements so far. He is an inspiration."
One of the discussions that tremendously impressed us is Dr Allsopp's perspective of the value of the older generations. He believes that their collective value to society can sometimes be overlooked. "It is my experience - certainly in Guernsey - that many people after retirement devote a lot of time to unpaid work for charitable works and social causes. It is a fantastic privilege to be able to volunteer to help without the need to seek financial recompense.
It is amazing how much there is to do."
In Dr Allsopp's own life, he certainly has much more to do. And he is a healthful living example of the importance of keeping fit in order to achieve one's goals. "I believe that lifestyle is the single most significant contributor to health. More than anything else, we have the answer to health and happiness in our own hands.
The five key factors include (1) staying slim, (2) smoking no cigarettes, (3) drinking not too much alcohol, (4) getting plenty of exercise, and (5) eatig vegetables. These factors appear to reduce the incidence of cancers, diabetes, dementia, strokes, and heart attacks by over 50% and increase longevity by about 10 years.
It has got to be worth going for.
Of the five, exercise has to be top of the list. With regular exercise, the others follow without much effort."
Dr Allsopp, competing in the 75-79 year age group, swam the 60m race at the Big Chill Swim in Windermere, finishing 41st (out of 74 competitors) in 53.77. His first foray in winter swimming served as the catalyst for him to start training for more and longer races in the future. He looked upon his inaugural winter swimming event with an enjoyable sense of challenge. "If you are able to enjoy swimming - even in the 6.4ºC (43.5ºF) cold of Windermere - then you are born lucky. It is a perfect form of exercise, you get to take you clothes off and experience the freedom. What could be better?"
* Since eclipsed by Dr Otto Thaning of South Africa and Cyril Baldock of Australia. See English Channel Half Century Club list here.
Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.