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Silver surfer: Grandmother puts fear of sea behind her

Anne-Marie Walker, 72, is her surfing school's oldest athlete.

Surfing: Anne-Marie used to be scared of the water. <strong>STV</strong>
Surfing: Anne-Marie used to be scared of the water. STV

Reporting by Laura Alderman

A Moray grandmother is proving that when it comes to riding waves, age is no barrier.

Despite a life-long fear of the sea, 72-year-old Anne-Marie Walker picked up a surfboard for the first time just a few weeks ago, after seeing how much her grandchildren enjoyed the sport with instructors at SurfABLE, an organisation that helps students with special needs or disabilities to ride the waves.

Ms Walker learnt how to swim only one year ago, but now loves a plunge into the chilly north sea for the “exhilarating ” experience.

She says: “I’m a very interfering person and I had to get over this fear of the sea. It was scary. Terrifying. But now I just love it.”

The grandmother said it wouldn’t have been possible without her coach Kev Anderson from SurfABLE, who’d already been teaching Anne-Marie how to swim over the past year.

“Anne-Marie is definitely my oldest athlete,” says Kev.

“She’s got the right attitude: getting stuck in and staying positive. We already had a great relationship before she decided to learn to surf.”

Ms Walker has even recruited a few of her peers, telling STV News an older friend is going to start learning how to surf with her in the new year.

Anne-Marie added, “The sea is very powerful we must never forget that.

“I’m still not 100% convinced, but at least I don’t need water wings!”

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