Daphne on cloud nine after skydive

Daphne Bernard, 90
Daphne Bernard, 90

A 90-YEAR-OLD thrillseeker leapt out of a plane at 12,000 feet last week to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Daphne Bernard is on cloud nine after doing the skydive on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The daring grandmother, who after an all-day wait for the weather to improve performed a tandem skydive to raise money for charity, said, “When we first went up, I was a little apprehensive, but there was a lot riding on me doing it and I couldn’t back out.

“There was a lot of cloud and, when it was time to jump, it was like diving into icy cold water which wasn’t very pleasant.

“But once we broke through the cloud, it was absolutely fantastic – so smooth. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. The sun was shining and it was just beautiful.

“The landing was perfect, too.”

For now, Daphne will be putting her feet up for a well-deserved rest, but she’s already thinking about how to celebrate her 95th birthday. Brave Daphne is contemplating the idea of a wing-walk to celebrate the next milestone.

“I would certainly do sky-diving again,” added Daphne, whose daughter-in-law Tracy Strathern also jumped on the same day.

While the Queen celebrated her special day on Monday (June 4) with a star-studded concert at Buckingham Palace and the nation hit the streets for parties, Daphne took to the skies to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of her late beloved husband, Vic.

Daphne joined David Lloyd Eastbourne with her husband in 1982 and still trains at the club three times a week, undertook the challenge at Headcorn airfield in Kent in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. She had been preparing for her amazing feat with lead coach Josh Warrell. Daphne had planned to do the jump on her 90th birthday in May, but it had to be postponed due to bad weather.

She said, “When I told the club I am planning the sky dive, they got behind me with fundraising and arranged a personal trainer session to prepare for the jump. Trainer Josh made up a special routine of leg and chest presses, bicep curls and leg extensions that I practised several times before the big day.”

Daphne puts her health and being in great shape down to her love of fitness and has plenty of advice for fellow seniors looking to keep active. While the Queen, who is four years younger than Daphne, attributes her fitness to countryside walks, Daphne prefers the gym and playing badminton with the ‘Golden Oldies’, a group of long time friends who socialise and meet regularly to exercise at Eastbourne’s David Lloyd Club.

To help support Daphne by donating to her chosen cause visit her Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/user/31619487.