Swimming has played a major part in every stage of Peter Presbury’s life since the age of eight. Now, at 80, the retired Olympic swimming coach and his wife Moya have bought an apartment at Churchill Retirement Living’s Priory Lodge in Christchurch. Their new home is right next door to the Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre – so the couple can continue to swim, without having to use the car.
Mr Presbury said: “We lived in Bransgore in the New Forest and travelled by car to swim in Christchurch four times a week. We started to think about the future and how we get around as we got older – the bus service in the New Forest certainly wasn’t going to suffice.
“As we went swimming one morning about 18 months ago we saw the hoardings go up for Priory Lodge and we thought it was the perfect solution. We ended up buying an apartment and moved in this May and we’re absolutely delighted with our decision. The sales team and Lodge Manager have been so helpful – in fact they are more than Churchill employees – they’re our friends. And most importantly – we can walk to the swimming pool now as well as into town and the lovely riverside.
Swimming was a priority in Mr Presbury’s life, having loved swimming as a child and competed in competitions himself. He became a qualified teacher at the age of 21 prior to later becoming a coach.
In 1980 he became coach for Great Britain and England and travelled with the teams to the World Championships in Equador and the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane Australia in 1982, the European Championships in Rome in 1983 and the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984.
It was 1989 when the couple moved to the south of England and Mr Presbury took a position at the Littledown Centre in Bournemouth as operations manager and coach with the Bournemouth Dolphins Swimming Club. After nine years in the role he retired from work and, at the age of 63, took the decision to retire from the world of swimming too. He stepped down from the position of president of The British Swimming Coaches Association, having been awarded a lifelong Fellowship.
Mr and Mrs Presbury still swim regularly but they have disagreements about style. Mr Presbury said: “After all this time, and even with me as a GB coach, Moya still doesn’t put her head in the water. She likes to chat while she’s swimming!”
Mr Presbury hasn’t given up coaching completely. The couple attend a weekly Country and Western line dancing group – where he is the teacher. He said: “Its 20 ladies, and me. Moya takes the money and joins in the class. We dance for an hour and a half and it’s another great way to keep fit and active.”
Priory Lodge, located on Stony Lane South in Christchurch, is a stylish collection of one and two bedroom privately-owned retirement apartments. Each apartment has been designed exclusively for those in their retirement years and has a number of safety and security features, such as a 24 hour emergency call line and a video entry system, for complete peace of mind. As Peter and Moya agree, “perfect to live out the rest of our lives in.”
The development is set in landscaped grounds in a central location, just a short distance from public transport links, shops and all the local amenities on offer in Christchurch. Peter and Moya intend to enjoy every part of it
To find out more, please visit the Show Complex, open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm, call 01202 983446.