John, 81, just keeps rowing along!

Saturday 23rd April 2022 7:00 am
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John Price with Diane Lancaster.
John Price with Diane Lancaster. (Ross Rowing Club )

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LIKE Old Man River, octogenarian oarsman John Price just keeps 'rowing along'!

Ross-on-Wye RC member John Price has just turned 81, but after half a century rowing on the Wye he has no intention of hanging his oars up yet.

And remarkably, the club’s oldest rower is still 'rowing strong' despite sharing a debilitating condition with Olympic superstar Sir Steve Redgrave.

The duo both have type one diabetes and have to keep a careful watch on controlling the condition.

Congratulating John on his 81st birthday, the club posted: “He started rowing with Ross RC nearly 50 years ago and still can be seen most mornings, on the water in Dipper, or in a double.

“After competing, John was the person who taught youngsters to row at Ross before the Junior academy emerged in 2012.

“In recent years he has been a mainstay of the midweek rowers and has rowed and supported many beginner women on and off the water.

“John is an example of perseverance and fitness to us all. If he is not rowing he is walking the dogs or cycling miles…

“Diagnosed with type One diabetes 64 years ago, he has to check his blood sugar regularly and inject insulin every day and this has never stopped him enjoying exercise and the outdoors.

“If you have ever rowed with John you know it is a wildlife environment outing; he can tell you about the birds, animals and plants along the river in the different seasons.

“John is often clothed in stuff Iris, his wife, has got from the charity shop and he loves dressing up. We have had some fantastic themed rowing parties.”

John shared his birthday week with fellow club stalwarts Bryn Hughes and Diane Lancaster, and despite having to delay his birthday paddle with Diane due to a cold last month, he finally launched out last week.

John, who took up rowing at the club at 31 after hearing the sounds of boats at the end of riverside garden, says he forgets about his age as soon as he gets in a boat.

“Exercise, as long as you look after yourself and you are careful what you do, is wonderful,” he added.

“I’ve been a vegetarian for the last 50 years too and a vegan for the last 15 years, and that is a terrific help with the diabetes…

“Everyone thinks rowing is dead easy, you get in a boat and off you go. But racing boats are not quite the same as that, there’s a bit more to it.”

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