Oldest swimmer at 86 still as excited to compete as the youngest boy, aged six

2011-02-11 00:00

LORNA COCHRAN will be the oldest participant in the aQuelle Midmar Mile on Sunday. At the age of 86, she will be swimming her 13th Mile and she is really excited.

Speaking to The Witness by phone from the Methodist Old Age Home in Benoni, Cochran said, “My peers think that I’m crazy to take part in the race, but I’m seriously up for it even though I’ll be very slow in the water.”

Cochran has seven children, 24 grandchildren and 20 great- grandchildren.

“I’m so blessed with good health — that’s the reason I am able to do these things,” she said.

Cochran is active and she had her last swimming practice on Tuesday. She said that her first swimming race was nerve-wracking, but now she is used to it.

“The mind is a powerful thing, I always tell myself that I can, and everyone should do the same,” she said.

She used to be active in her youth. “I played soccer, tennis and walking to and from was the norm because we didn’t have cars back then.”

Cochran has been a widow for 41 years and said she is grateful to her children for keeping her busy and involving her in their activities.

Her son, Neil (60), said, “My mother is such an inspiration. I’m honoured to be associated with her.”

The youngest boy who will be swimming the Mile is a six-year-old from Durban North, Kian Govender. His mother, Kerusha, said, “My son has been swimming since he was 18 months old.

“He really loves it so much and all his practice sessions for the race went well.”

The grade two learner from Glenashley Junior Primary School is looking forward to the race, although he is a bit anxious.

“I’m so proud of him, I’ll support him even in the future if he wants to continue swimming,” the mom said.

While Kian is the youngest boy participating in the Midmar Mile, he is not the youngest competitor.

The youngest are Sherisha Brijal and Alexis Jaide Morrison-Goate, who are both aged five. The Witness was unable to contact their parents.

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