Ageless Athletes – New Documentary Shows Power Of Track And Field In Later Life

Ageless athletes – new documentary shows power of track and field in later life

Younger: Looking Forward To Getting Older is released in cinemas across the UK on Friday

An Olympic summer always triggers a minor deluge of athletics documentaries and books. Netflix is hogging the headlines right now with its series on sprinters. There are two upcoming documentaries on Channel 4 focusing on British Olympic and Paralympic hopes. Daley Thompson and Linford Christie are also set to feature in documentaries.

Ageless Athletes

Hot on their heels is a new film about masters athletics. Out on Friday (July 5) in a selected cinema release, it focuses on four female veteran athletes and is called Younger: Looking Forward To Getting Older.

The 55-minute film focuses on sprinter W85 sprinter Dot Fraser, W70 sprinter Joylyn Saunders-Mullins, W75 race walker and runner Noel Blatchford and W70 pole vaulter Sue Yeomans.

The documentary opens with Joylyn getting out her considerable collection of medals and trophies. “This is my life!” she proudly says.

Produced by Danielle Sellwood and Alex Rotas, the documentary then speaks to the athletes and their coaches, giving an insight into what drives them to continue pushing their bodies when most people the same age are happy to settle down on the sofa to watch television.

(Danielle Sanderson)

This is a world where the coaches are often younger than the athletes; where getting older and moving into a new age group is actually celebrated and something to look forward to; and where heart problems, strokes and cancer are just as common as hamstring pulls and calf strains.

Dot and Noel have suffered strokes, for instance, but it doesn’t stop them pursuing their passion of athletics. Sue has had cancer twice but feels enthused about moving into a new age group for over-70s where she will be among the youngest in her category.

Ageless athletes – new documentary shows power of track and field in later life

The documentary has found attention in the national media already, too, with the Guardian saying: “All the subjects here are spry, inspiringly energetic, and articulate about what athletics means to them, which makes them the perfect subjects for an uplifting watch.”

The documentary producers say: “For these women, masters athletics is more than a sport; it’s a source of community, personal achievement, and a testament to living a life full of adventure and joy. Through their stories, the film presents a powerful counter-narrative to the often negative stereotypes associated with ageing.

Ageless athletes – new documentary shows power of track and field in later life

(Alex Rotas)

“It also offers a fresh perspective on the value and vitality of an active older population. As societies around the globe grapple with the implications of an ageing demographic, this documentary highlights the importance of inclusivity and challenges the portrayal of older individuals as inactive or disempowered.”

The four athletes selected are brilliant choices and they tell their stories superbly as the characters are developed during the film. By the end we are invested in their journey and keen to know how they have progressed.

If you want glamour, celebrity and bravado, then tune into the Netflix series Sprint. But Younger: Looking Forward To Getting Older is definitely worth your time and you may find it just as enjoyable and far more relatable, especially if you are an ageing athlete yourself.

Cinema showings throughout the UK

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