Retired post office engineer Clive Wyatt is spending his retirement revisiting his passion for roller skating.
Clive grew up 100 yards away from his local skating rink and started skating back in the 50s at the Embassy Skating Rink in Cathays. Now at the age of 75 (and three quarters), he’s returned to skating and is loving it more than ever.
“As soon as I put the skates on, I’m 18 again” Clive tells us. “It’s my thing. Not sure I can explain why, I just love doing it.” Clive began skating as a kid. His local skating rink was the place where kids in the neighbourhood would go to have fun.
At 15, Clive saw speed skaters for the first time and knew straight away, watching them zoom past, that that’s what he wanted to do. He joined his local speed skating club and for the next seven or eight years skated with them as a member.
As Clive’s got older, he might have aches and pains, but that hasn’t stopped him getting back into skating. He’s learnt to adapt his skating style to suit his abilities. He explains, ‘now, I’m into artistic skating because I’m too old to speed skate’. Clive’s new skating style is slower but more deliverable, ‘it’s sometimes difficult for a man to dance, to show myself off’ he says, but he does it to keep skating at his local club.
Clive has a few health problems, such as arthritic knees and hands but he won’t let this stop him. To make sure he doesn’t injure himself and have to give up skating, Clive now trains within certain parameters and doesn’t push himself too far.
The club Clive skates in now is very family orientated, with people of all ages coming together to skate, though Clive lets us know that he’s ‘by far the oldest’ member. Clive’s favourite time to skate is on a Friday night when the club members have an hour and a half jam, no training, just playing around and doing what he wants to do ‘that’s the best skate of the week’ Clive says.
“When I’m skating, nothing else exists.”
For Clive, skating is a way to relax and let go. The hard work and perseverance always pays off, he tells us ‘you’re able to do things on skates and when you get it right - it’s a great feeling’. Clive’s advice for someone looking to take up skating? Make sure you’re careful and take advice, but you’re never too old to start skating.
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