03/05/2022 - Permalink

World record holder to inspire over 55s at festival

Related topics: Health

A world record holder is set to give an inspirational talk at a festival for the over 55s this weekend.

Di Carrington, who was part of a team of ladies to row across the Atlantic in 2017/18, is hoping to inspire people to get active at the Keep on Moving Shropshire Festival on Sunday (8 May 2022).

The event takes place at Shrewsbury Sports Village from 9.30am to 4pm and will feature a range of taster activity sessions and information.

Di Carrington in a boat during the Atlantic rowing challenge

Di Carrington rowed across the Atlantic in 2017/18

Di, from Shrewsbury, said:

I never expected to become a world record holder! When I left school, I went to teacher training college and took up my first teaching post at Arthog, Shropshire’s Outdoor Centre. There I taught outdoor pursuits and field studies, growing a great love of the sea and nature that lived there.

After ten years teaching I retrained as a nurse in Shrewsbury, worked my way up the career ladder, until I was working for a national quality assurance programme. It was here with seven regions to manage that I burnt out and broke down. On my 55th birthday I was diagnosed with anxiety depression and began a long journey of recovery. I lost my job, career and all my confidence.

Close to my 60th birthday two close relatives were diagnosed with advanced cancer, my world fell apart. It was a good friend that said, ‘I’ve just seen four ladies row the Atlantic, I think we need to do something, let’s do that, let’s become the oldest women to row an ocean!’

My focus turned to learning how to row and all that was needed to start this challenge. In December 2017 we set off from La Gomera to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic, after two capsizes we arrived 60 days 18 hours and 34 minutes later in Antigua. We had rowed into the record books, achieving three official Guinness Book World Records and one unofficial record. At the time more people had been into space than had rowed an ocean.

You can hear more from Di on Sunday, as well Professor Janet Lord on the science of aging and a practical session on how to keep moving from Suzie O’Shea of Energize.

Guests can also chose from a range of activities offered by local clubs and tutors. The Shrewsbury Indoor Bowls Club will be supporting the festival with bowling taster sessions, tennis will be offered by Tennis Shropshire, and walking football will be offered by Shrewsbury Town in the Community. There will be zumba and pilates from Energize, ballet from Age UK and walking netball from the Shrewsbury Walking Netball Club.

Festival sponsor, Quest, is supporting an ability bikes session along with advice available from Cycling4All Shropshire – come and try tandems, side-by side and other innovative adaptive bikes. Community Dance, hypnosis for relaxation and Pickleball are also on the timetable.

There will be a postural stability area run by Energize’s ‘Elevate’ project with the NHS Falls Team, Community Resource will be offering Functional Fitness MOTs and there will be COVID-19 vaccinations available from Shropshire Council health and wellbeing Community Outreach Team’s ‘Bob the Bus’.

The Market Place will offer stalls from a range of organisations offering information, advice and support and there will be a free packed lunch on offer to keep you going through the action-packed day.

Please book via www.shropshire.gov.uk/KeepOnMovingShropshire or call on 0345 678 9077.