Age? Ulrich strolls on at 97 while jane’s a top swimmer at 80

Ulrich Weigert, 97, who joins the Health Walkers every Tuesday through Endcliffe Park
Ulrich Weigert, 97, who joins the Health Walkers every Tuesday through Endcliffe Park
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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.

Eighty year old Jane Asher prepares to swim in the 1500 metres Masters event at Ponds forge

Eighty year old Jane Asher prepares to swim in the 1500 metres Masters event at Ponds forge

“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.”