Performing gravity-defying gymnastic routines at 84? Meet Inspirational Generation winner Marjorie Carter!

At 84 years old, Marjorie isn’t your average gym bunny. But, if you’re able to wake up early enough (Marjorie trains three times a week at 6 am), you might find her trying the hoops, handstands or splits.
 

“You need to keep as healthy as you can to live longer. It’s particularly important in older people to help maintain that independence and mobility. As they say, ‘use it or you lose it”, says Marjorie.
 
The octogenarian who has been doing gymnastics since the age of 10, went on to have an impressive coaching career that saw her compete in the 1952 and 1960 Olympic Games and move on to nurture the next generation of British gymnasts. Following her own remarkable achievements in the sport, Marjorie was invited to teach gymnastics at Leeds Athletic Institute, which eventually lead to her becoming the senior coach for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics for the City of Leeds. This saw Marjorie travel across the majority of Europe with the sport, training and developing young gymnasts to represent Great Britain in International Gymnastradas in Berlin, Zurich, Herning and Amsterdam.

Not letting age hold her back, Marjorie’s choice to retire at 74 saw her continue to stay involved in gymnastics until 2015. In this time, Marjorie worked on a voluntary basis at Leeds Espirit Gymnastics Club for 12 hours per week, continuing to share her invaluable coaching and mentoring skills to both gymnasts and coaches. She has also been involved in many different talks in schools, on the radio and at Leeds Espirit, telling tales of her experiences at the Olympic Games and helping to inspire a new generation of gymnasts.
 
A grandmother of five, Marjorie is a McCarthy Stone homeowner at Jowett Court in Bradford. Her inspiring story not only gained the attention of our celebrity guest judge, TV and radio personality, Gloria Hunniford, but it also impressed our judges who crowned Marjorie as the North East and National winner for Inspirational Generation.


Gloria said: “My congratulations go to Marjorie for winning the national award and for making a real impression on the judges. The standard of entries was exceptionally high and it was an incredibly tough job to decide on the winners. There is a clearly a generation of people out there who are living such fascinating and inspiring lives, and we can all learn from their energy, fortitude, and relentless passion for what they believe in.”
 
For receiving the national accolade, Marjorie was awarded a cheque for £2000 and a £200 donation to her chosen charity – Sue Ryder Foundation.
 

Sharon Gill, Marketing Manager for McCarthy Stone North East, said: 
“Our Inspirational Generation campaign was focused on raising awareness of the fantastic achievements of those over 60 and how inspirational they are to the younger generation.
 
We are delighted for Marjorie, as soon as we saw her entry it was clear she was an exceptionally inspirational lady. She has had a fascinating sporting career and we are delighted to see her recognised in this way, which is what she really deserves.
 
Many people see old age as something to dread, and there are lots of negative stereotypes in the media about growing older. Marjorie, like many of our homeowners we see every day, is proving that age is no barrier. It’s just a number and we want to encourage more people to be inspired by Marjorie’s story, and see their retirement as an opportunity – an opportunity to live life to the fullest.”