Budleigh’s nonagenarian bowler proves age is no barrier as impressive sporting career continues.

PUBLISHED: 11:08 18 December 2019

Budleigh bowler Tony Lim who recently celebrated his 91st birthday. Picture BUDLEIGH BOWLS CLUB

Budleigh bowler Tony Lim who recently celebrated his 91st birthday. Picture BUDLEIGH BOWLS CLUB


At the tender age of 91 Tony Lim has proved that age has been no barrier to a very impressive sporting career, writes David Roberts.

Tony, a member of the Budleigh Salterton Bowls Club, is as enthusiastic as ever and certainly remains a very competitive opponent.

Celebrating his birthday recently it has been good to look back on his achievements over the years.

Tony's main sport without a doubt has been tennis and he excelled from his early 20s, and was still playing socially up to 2014.

At the age of 24, he played at the Old All England Tennis Championships Club at Worple Road, Wimbledon, just losing out in the singles final.

In 1955, Tony was a strong club man and found success in the Inter College Tennis Championships, winning the men's doubles and was a regular winner whilst a member of the Chingford Tennis Club, being runner-up in the 1957 singles.

In the same year he was a winning member of the doubles team in the Essex Junior Cup championship and in an amazing five events in the Stanley Johnson Cup (Essex). Also that year, he impressively qualified as an Advanced Tennis Coach at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre. Over the next few years there was club success at many levels and between 2001-2005 Tony played singles and doubles in the British Amateur Veterans Tennis Championships playing for a victorious Great Britain team against Norway at Wimbledon. There was more club success and in the National Veterans competitions and he made it regularly to semi finals in the doubles competitions winning the Eastbourne tournament.

Between 2003 and 2009, representing Devon in the National Over-75s Knockout Championships, the team won the competition for six years and Tony's final tennis accolade came at the grand age of 85 when, in 2013, he was part of a successful pairing in the Budleigh Salterton Tennis Club Over-60s doubles competition.

Tony's ball skills talents extended to table tennis where he had a successful run when he represented the London County Council and also in the 1960s transferred his skills into Ballroom, Latin and American dancing where he received Gold, Silver and Bronze medals also winning the Novice National competition in Old Time Dancing in 2001.

Tony first took to bowls at the Exmouth Maderia Club in 1995 winning the novice competition in the first year.

He was always difficult to beat and won more competitions here before moving to the Budleigh Bowls Club where he excelled, winning the outdoor two wood and mixed pairs two years on the trot. In 2017 he was successful in the men's pairs and, in the last couple of years, he has been runner-up in the 106 singes and Handicap finals.

Tony is a very musical man having self taught himself on many instruments and having spent many years as a church organist you can listen to him on most Sunday mornings at the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Topsham.

Keep it going, Tony, and congratulations on an amazing on-going, sporting career.

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