ULRICH Weigert is a walking advertisement for Natural England’s health programme.
For the last five years he has joined the local Health Walk every week, strolling for an hour from Endcliffe Park Café – despite the fact that he has just celebrated his 97th birthday.
“I enjoy it,” says Ulrich, who leaves many a younger walker trailing in his wake. “Until a year or so ago I used to go all the way to Forge Dam.
“I can’t say there’s any proof that this is my secret of long life but I like walking and I like meeting people.”
Ulrich was born in Bavaria and came here as a refugee from Nazi Germany, arriving in Sheffield after the war.
He was a respected industrial chemist with British Steel (later Corus) until his retirement 34 years ago.
He now lives in Ecclesall with wife Barbara, 12 years his junior: “She doesn’t walk quite as much as I do!”
Ulrich has always enjoyed rambling: “At one time I went to another group in Ecclesall Wood and I quite often go walking on my own.
“I get a free bus pass, so I go to Endcliffe Park practically every day.”
The Health Walk is one of around 30 around the area. It takes place each Tuesday afternoon, whatever the weather, led by a qualified volunteer.
And on Ulrich’s big day it ended with a celebration at the park café with a cake and a chorus of Happy Birthday.
Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for health, said: “Ulrich is setting us all a really good example. I’m sure it would benefit us all if we could find some time to do half an hour’s exercise five times a week.”
Health Walk details: 203 9335.
SWIMMERS in their 80s made a splash at Ponds Forge sports centre.
Competitors in the National Masters included Jane Asher, aged 80, from London, who competed in four categories for 80-to-84-year-olds.
She already holds World and European swimming records but failed to add to her achievements in Sheffield.
But there was a good excuse.
Speaking before the competition, she said: “I had a hip operation last year and I haven’t really done much since.”