Graham Powell

Graham Powell: no longer a full-time teacher but still a Master!

Graham with his four 2018 silver GB Masters medals

For World, European or British Masters medals, we look to “The Legend” that is Graham Powell.

He’s no stranger to the podium having won both a silver and a bronze at the 2001 European Masters and a World bronze over 50 metres backstroke back in 1996.

Roll on twenty years and Graham set a new British Masters record for his age group when winning the GB Masters 50m Backstroke in April 2016. He proceeded to win a silver in the  100m Butterfly and a bronze over 100m Backstroke at the European Masters in May 2016. The 2016 European Long Course  Rankings for his age group saw Graham ranked 2nd in Europe over 50m Backstroke whilst being in the Top 10 World (Short & Long Course) rankings over both 50m and 100m Backstroke, in addition to 9th place over 100m Butterfly (long course).

So how old is Graham? Let’s just say he did win at the UAU Championships way back in 1974 whilst at Birmingham University. A further spell at Loughborough University sent Graham on to a career in education.

Having “retired” from both water polo and rugby, Graham joined Luton as a Master in 1995. He keeps his interest in swimming because he loves “the competition, the training and the friendships made”.

As of April 2021 Graham held seventeen Eastern Region and thirty five Bedfordshire Masters records. He also finished in 24th place in the 2018 British Swimming Masters Decathlon, having been encouraged to go the extra distance and compete over 200 metres in events other than his preferred Backstroke and Butterfly.

Although supposedly somewhat reticent at the prospect of entering relay events, Graham is still very much a team player. “What happens on tour, stays on tour”. Just don’t expect such a totally friendly reaction if you ever ask him who holds “his” Luton Borough Championships backstroke trophy!

At most swim meets, life just gets in the way of a good kip…