Mary makes a splash at the World Masters Games

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Alnwick swimming coach Mary Purvis recently attended the World Masters Games in New Zealand, where she was on top form, winning three gold and two silver medals.

Mary, 62, is a long-standing coach with Alnwick Dolphins and she completed her medal haul at the games, which were held in Auckland.

Mary trains both independently and with Alnwick Dolphins at the Willowburn Leisure Centre, and can be regularly seen practising her butterfly and freestyle in the mornings.

She competed in four individual events across five days at the 50m long course gala in Auckland.

She won gold in the 50m butterfly, with a time of 36.57 seconds, beating Australian and New Zealand swimmers by more than two seconds; gold in the 50m freestyle with a time of 33.47 seconds, beating a Canadian swimmer by just 36 hundredths of a second; silver in the 200mFfreestyle with a time of 2:50.37, coming second to an Australian swimmer; and silver in the 100m freestyle with a time of 1:16.59, behind the Australian gold medal winner.

Prior to travelling, Mary was also approached by a retired Royal Navy team, to ask if she could join them to form part of a mixed and women’s relay entry.

The mixed team swam a very creditable 200m freestyle, finishing fourth with a time of 2.07.71, only 4.9 seconds behind the gold medal team from Australia.

But in Mary’s final event, the 200m women’s freestyle relay, the team took gold with a time of 2:23.02, a clear five seconds ahead of the silver medallists, the Ontario Masters A squad.

Mary would like to thank all the staff and early morning swimmers at Willowburn Leisure Centre, as well as the Alnwick Dolphins, for their support.

She said it was especially nice to be welcomed back by the young swimmers that she coaches, who were very excited to see the haul of medals and for whom she is a great inspiration and role model.