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Age and rodents no barrier for 80-year-old rollerblader

Flagstaff Team

Ready to roll… Joy Mace is looking forward to resuming rollerblading, an activity she took up in her 50s

To celebrate her 80th birthday, Joy Mace is getting new rollerblades.

“I have always enjoyed rollerblading. It kept me fit,” the Devonport resident says.

She is replacing her 20-year-old roller- blades, on which she used to commute from Devonport to Greenlane Hospital when she worked as a nurse.

Although Mace is a little out of practice and will be sure to don protective gear, she believes ageing shouldn’t be the reason you stop doing what you enjoy.

Mace and her husband Howard run Admi- ral’s Landing bed and breakfast on Anne St.

Howard, who is the president of the Devonport RSA, has recently undergone chemotherapy and has been battling cancer. Along with her return to rollerblading, Mace stays active as a dedicated rat-trapping volunteer.

She says volunteering for community groups involves meeting like-minded people and often some exercise.

“This is especially important if an older person loses a spouse or significant person in their life. It is important in relation to both general and mental health,” she says.

Injuries from falls can be avoided with exercise to improve strength, she says.

Mace says the traps used for rat-trapping on the Devonport peninsula are designed to kill rodents instantly by breaking their necks.

“It would certainly meet Jacinda [Ard- ern]’s direction to ‘be kind’,” she says. “Kindness is, unfortunately, not a feature of the way predator species injure and often kill native birds and lizards.”

This article originally appeared in the 14 August 2020 edition of the Flagstaff. Read online here.

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