Llanelli’s tennis legend Basil, 101, wins Amplifon Brave Britons award

Llanelli tennis legend Basil Smith – now aged 101 – has won the Active Agers title in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2022.


Basil was said by the judges to show the best of British spirit.


They said: “Basil was chosen as winner because of his steadfast determination to show that age is just a number and that with the right frame of mind and positive outlook it is still possible to achieve what may seem to most to be the impossible.


“Despite her tender years – all one hundred and one – he is still as bright as a button and doesn’t even need the aid of glasses. Basil gives the runaround to opponents half his age and has inspired generation after generation of youngsters to take up tennis.”


Basil, who plays at Swansea Tennis Centre, said: “I try and do my regular exercises every day and keep playing because I love it.”


Basil was asked by the awards host and BBC Breakfast and Radio 5 presenter Rachel Burden, who presented the awards, whether he was now thinking of hanging up his racket.


Basil answered: “Not at all. When I play tennis, I forget everything. I am in another world. It’s only when the game is over that I come back down to earth.”


Basil started playing tennis aged eight by hitting the ball against the wall at home and still plays three times a week.


He likes nothing better than to smash an ace or return a tricky drop shot as he takes on all-comers much younger than himself.


To maintain his fitness he exercises at least twice a day and to help keep his joints supple and muscles healthy he has a warm bubble bath after every game and puts his pyjamas on the radiator before he gets undressed and ready for bed!

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