PLAYING tennis outdoors may be the last thing on the minds of some people at this time of year but not the veterans at Holcombe Brook Sports Club.

The club has around 25 players over the age of 55 and five of those are in their 80s and still playing tennis regularly throughout the year.

The quintet, known by club members as the 'Octovets' have a combined age of 412 years. 

They are led by the ageless Gretchen Pyves, who is 85, with Derek Schofield, Duncan McNeil, John Cardwell and Jane Bisson completing the group.

They play at least twice a week on Monday and Thursday mornings and still give the younger veterans a run for their money. 

Prior to the veterans' Christmas meal recently an exhibition set was played in which Pyves teamed up with Jeremy Stuart – at a mere 68 years old, a member of the veterans 'youth' section – to beat Bisson and Schofield 6-4.

Fellow veteran Steve Flaherty said of the quintet: "They are an inspiration to us all and a testament to the belief that keeping moving keeps you young.

"I hope to be in their shoes from 2030 onwards!"