Forty years ago, Peter Sands had an accident that required two major spinal operations and left him wheelchair-bound. Now, he’s just picked up his certificate for swimming a remarkable 300 miles - and doesn’t plan to stop there.
Despite his diagnosis, Peter was determined to keep fit and active, so joined Sovereign Swimming Club in 1987 to learn how to swim. In 1992, he started keeping a record of the distance he swam and has been racking up the miles ever since - not even a heart attack in 2000 or a heart bypass in 2002 has been able to stop him in the pool.
Peter, who will be 80 in July, swims a quarter of a mile - or 24 lengths - every Sunday afternoon at Motcombe Pool with his minder, Christine.
He said, “I would like to say a big, big thank you to Christine, all the club members and the staff at Motcombe Pool on Sunday afternoons.
“Doctors told me I’d never walk again but after I got some feeling back in my legs, my lovely wife Ann used to help me get out of bed and stand up. I sadly lost my wife eight years ago.
“Although I have terrible trouble with my legs, I wanted something to keep me fit and now I’ve lost three-and-a-half stone since the accident.
“I can only swim backstroke and it takes me about an hour to swim the quarter of a mile. I got my certificate for 250 miles five years ago and now my 300.
“As well as swimming, I’m tracing my family tree, just as something to keep all bits working in my head too!”