joy skipper world rowing champion superage ambassador

Joy Skipper - World and British rowing champion at 59


Joining us for another inspiring interview today, Joy Skipper is an exceptional recipe book author, SuperAger, healthy eating and rowing figure. At the age of 62, she continues to practice as a food and nutrition consultant and competes in rowing at a Masters International level. Leading an incredibly active lifestyle, Joy also enjoys swimming, cycling and climbing both indoor and outdoors.

1. What would you consider as your main passion?

Anything that allows me to be outside, but I suppose sculling is my main passion – being on a beautiful lake or river, flat water, surrounded by stunning scenery.

 2. What motivates you?

Knowing that If I look after myself and continue to enjoy sport I will hopefully live a long, fun-filled life.

3. What advice would you give the 20-year old you?

Don’t be scared of failing, just enjoy the ride and have confidence in yourself. Aim to experience everything you can – never say no!

4. Which one food, one activity and one daily habit they would never give up on?

Yoghurt with fresh berries every morning. Spending at least 1 hour (absolute minimum!) of the day outside, even in the middle of winter.  I can’t ever imagine not sculling – there was a 94-year-old at the last Masters World Championships I attended – hopefully I’ll be there at 95!

5.  How does your diet play a role in enabling you to pursue your passion?

I studied nutrition because I wanted to learn more about how food affects my performance, mood etc., so it is hugely important that I eat the right things for me when I want to compete.

6.  What’s your favourite superfood and why?

Fresh organic berries that I grow myself – I have a sweet tooth and they satisfy that whilst providing great nutrition and not too much sugar.

7.   If you’ve made a change to a plant-based / more plant-based diet – How would you describe the change and its impact?

I’ve been a pescatarian for over 40 years, more recently more vegetarian due to environmental reasons. It just means I have to think a bit harder to get good protein into my day, but it is totally worth it. 

8.   How has your approach to nutrition changed over the years and what do you wish you knew sooner?

I’ve always been very healthy and aware that what goes into my body will have an effect somewhere along the line, but now I love getting into the detail of how each nutrient works and the synergy between them. I wish I didn’t like cake so much though!

9.   What piece of advice would you give to someone who might be worried about trying something new?

I think you should always try something at least once, so then you can have an opinion on it. If you don’t try you will never know if that could have been the next passion that you’ve missed out on. I started rowing at the age of 38 and became British Champion for my age at 43!


Discover more inspiring stories and advice in the SuperAgers section on the website.