VERY disappointing. The Rotary Club advertised the Rotary Stakes Rowing Competition, so I rang for two $25 tickets and asked: "Are you accepting entries for the over-80s and over-90s?" There was a sound as if someone had fallen off the other end of the telephone.

The tickets were delivered and the money accepted. We sat there, on the evening, at the Collegiate table, waiting for the age group competition. It became a little cool, so I donned my Superman t-shirt. I thought if I wore it in the over-90s it might intimidate the opposition. Alas! My super-fit 86-year-old beloved and I waited in vain. There were no age group events.

We have long relied on the exercycle for indoor inclement weather use. It also fits television viewing. EPL soccer games make for pleasurable 45-minute exercise sessions. We cycle one 45-minute half each. The Dr Michael Moseley 3 x 10-sec race-ups are also valuable for ageing circulatory systems.

On the exercycle, all the work is done below the waist; the top of the body just lazes around. So, I looked up rowing on the internet and found an astonishing 83 per cent of muscles used, including all the important ones around the middle. Next thing I see a Chronicle for sale advertisement: "Rowing machine, older type $100". We drove out to Marton to meet a thoroughly nice 88-year-old, and the rest is history.


I started on tension one, 30 pulls on the way to a target of 50 and encountered breathing difficulties. This necessitated a more gentle pace for the remaining pulls. I wrote it down, with the date. The record shows personal progress. We both now do 200 tension-three pulls. It is good to get seriously old and steadily stronger. If we can do it, we think most anyone can.

Rowing is also a low-impact activity. Liniment is the old man's friend. Without it I would have needed a new right knee these past 35 years.

The Rotary Stakes meeting was well run and great fun. The last race was a stunner with a grandstand Shane Stone Builders finish which had the writer nearly hoarse. It was good to hear the winner on the microphone, still struggling to restore normal breathing after the race.

Rowing machines are a great, low-impact way to near-total fitness for all age groups. Please, Rotary, some recognition for age groups next year? (Abridged)

FRED ROSE (Father Fred, ND)

Time for Collins to fade

What a load of codswallop (Chronicle, November 23) re Judith Collins and her address to the retirees at the retirement village. Also the quality of the publication of the report from that meeting. The last three columns of print made no sense whatsoever.

This was on top of the first two columns, which also made no sense — just more political claptrap (PC) from someone who thinks their party has a divine right to rule, and has shown nothing but sour grapes ever since it was voted out.


Evidently the Nats have to have an inspirational vision for NZ that actually brings NZ'ers along and not so high-falutin' that people say, "What's in it for me?"

An over-supply of immigrants and tourists, a lack of infrastucture and housing were the result of nine years of the Phantom Banker and his goverment, including Collins doing bugger-all. Hardly inspirational.

Collins also said the Goverment was wrong to pull out of gas and oil exploration. I agree with her, but why was Simon Bridges, before the elections, banging on about the wonder of electric cars? We were all going to buy them; fossil fuel was evil and out. Post-election he is now stating we should be looking for oil and gas.

I have some advice for the National Party: Suggest, in the nicest possible way, to Collins, Bridges, Bennett and Smith, to take a leaf out of Key and English's book and quietly fade into the sunset.

And could I also suggest they leave all their ongoing parliamentary perks behind as they leave?


Editor's note: The Chronicle regrets the production error that transposed two columns of type in the report about Judith Collins.
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