Aston University challenging perceptions of Ageing

Veteran Sports athletes

23 October 2012

Aston University will be hosting a photograph exhibition of veteran athletes who still compete at an international level.

Photographer Alex Rotas, will be showcasing her work at Aston University from Thursday1 November, which will feature photographs of competitive pole-vaulters, long jumpers and hurdlers in their 60s ,70s, 80s and 90s. The free exhibition, open to the general public, is designed to challenge potential stereotypes of older men and women within the UK. 

The exhibition in the lower foyer of Aston University’s Main Building features as part of the University’s Well-Being Week which aims to encourage healthier lifestyles.  Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA) at Aston University, whose research focuses on older people’s wellbeing, will also be showcasing their research at the event.

Dr Carol Holland, Director of ARCHA, said; “Alex’s work not only challenges perceptions of older people but also raises awareness that older age is not necessarily accompanied by inevitable decline.  Aston’s well-being week encourages staff to keep active and lead healthier working lives, and we are delighted that ARCHA can be involved with upcoming events. Current evidence from age-related research relates physical activity throughout life to good intellectual function and, prevention of dementias, as well as physical health in older age. Alongside ARCHA’s focus on scientific research into Ageing we also explore attitudes and beliefs towards ageing and the impact of changes in political and social environment on older people, linking different academic disciplines to have a real impact on the challenges facing an ageing population”.

Alex Rotas said; We’re all used to seeing photos of athletes but not perhaps these sorts of athletes. And while not everyone can be – or even wants to be – an athlete, I hope my photos show that older people are determined, strong, joyful and full of life. Ageing is often linked to helplessness and physical and mental deterioration but I hope that my images remind us all of what’s possible as we age and force us to think again about our attitudes towards ageing”. 

Alex plays tennis for Avon Vets and is currently working on a project which documents people in their 80’s and 90’s in the UK who still pursue a sporting hobby, irrespective of whether they are competitive or not.

The free exhibition will run from Thursday 1 November onwards, 9am to 5pm at Aston University Lower Foyer, Main Building, Aston Campus, Aston Triangle Birmingham B4 7ET.


For further media information please contact Eva Tabora  Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4294

For further information visit alexrotasphotography.com

For information on ARCHA visit Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing