OAP scales new heights at show

MOUNT Everest and the glacial peaks of the Alps could be the next challenge for a brave pensioner who has just completed a record-breaking climb.

Ida Maguire, 75, from Little Cornard, near Sudbury, became the oldest person to scale a 40ft professional climbing wall in an astonishing two minutes at a retirement show in London last week.

The feat was achieved at London’s Olympia where the grandmother of four managed to reach the peak while the majority of people at the show barely made it half way.

After clambering up the vertical challenge with minimal foot and finger holds and abseiling back down, the retired nurse said she surprised herself by tackling the wall.

She said: “I didn’t have the best shoes, so the toe holds were difficult. I also have to admit I was shaking when I got to the top, but it is nice to achieve something new at my age.

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“I don’t usually take part in adrenaline sports like this. Most of the time I keep active by going for long walks with my husband Brian, playing bowls or badminton. The next challenge I’d like to do is one of those abseils down a big building to raise money for Macmillan nurses.”

Tony Clack, managing director of Laterlife.com, who was responsible for the climbing wall, said there had been a lot of doubters before the show.

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He said: “We had confidence a climbing wall would be popular, but we were still surprised by the agility and adventurous spirit of so many older people.

“We had over 200 climbers in their 60s and 70s who skimmed up the wall and even people who had some physical problems wanting to have a go.”

He said the spirit of senior people in the UK was stunning and the last few years there had been a massive change in people’s attitudes to life over 60 which was summed up by Ida’s bravery.

“Ida, attempting such a challenging new activity well into retirement, is a perfect example of how modern people are facing their senior years with a completely new attitude,” he added.

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