Still hooked on quoiting

Britain's oldest Quoiter- Jock Hall from Leitham.
Britain's oldest Quoiter- Jock Hall from Leitham.

For a lot of people hobbies are little more than a phase but for Leitholm’s Jock Hall quoiting is a life long passion and he’s showing no signs of throwing the towel in any time soon.

Almost 30 years on from typical retirement age, Jock (93) is still very much an active presence in quoiting on both sides of the Border.

His schedule for the last few months says it all.

In May he attended competitions in East Ord and Sprouston; in June he was at events in Leitholm, East Ord, Norham, Yetholm and Berwick and already this month he has overseen competitions in Kelso, Norham, Leitholm, and Kelso.

Just last weekend he was at Paxton for the Canty’s Brig Patterson Cup for doubles and before October there are also competitions at Duns, Denholm, Coldstream, East Ord, Berwick, Wooler, Etal, Kelso, Yetholm, Alwinton and Leitholm in his diary.

What makes Jock’s dedication to the sport even more inspiring is the fact that even in his 70s he was throwing 15lbs quoits and still winning every competition.

“I’ll be doing it as long as I can,” Jock told ‘The Berwickshire’.

“I can’t compete as much as I’d like to now - I’m scared I’ll dislodge something - but I always go along to the competitions.

“I’m still quite fit; I’m doing alright for my age!

“I’ve been playing quoits for 87 years now, although obviously I had a break from it when I was at war.

“I love playing it and the atmosphere you get when you go to competitions with the other guys.”

It was Jock’s dad who first introduced him to quoiting at the tender age of six.

It would be fair to say that Jock was pretty much hooked right from throwing his first quoit but he admitted it was a lot harder to get youngsters into the sport these days.

“I think that’s why the numbers have dwindled over the years,” he continued.

“The same guys come back year after year but the interest just isn’t there from the younger ones.

“I got my grandson into quoiting and he was really good but he’s married now and lives in Dunfermline so he drifted out of it.

“It’s a shame because I’ve made some great friends from quoiting.”

Jock has amassed more than his fair share of trophies over the years but he doesn’t put this down to luck. It’s all about practice; as they say practice makes perfect.

“At six years old I never thought I’d still be playing quoits but I enjoy it more than ever and I’ll keep going til I’m on my last legs!”