Making a splash – Centenarian runs for office in German town

KIRCHHEIMBOLANDEN, Germany (Reuters) – For most people, reaching 100 would be reason enough to put one’s feet up and take things easy, but Lisel Heise has other ideas.

Lisel Heise, a 100-year old former teacher, listens to a reporter’s questions inside the living room of her house Kirchheimbolanden, Germany, April 11, 2019. The centenarian decided to engage in local politics and will run for city councillor in the upcoming local elections in Kirchheimbolanden on May 26. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The German centenarian, a former sports teacher, has started a new chapter in her life by running for election to the council in her home town of Kirchheimbolanden.

She’s focusing her campaign on reopening the town’s outdoor swimming pool, which closed in 2011.

Heise has long been vocal in her efforts to resurrect it – she dislikes its replacement on the outskirts of town – but has found that, as an older woman, her opinions have often been ignored.

Now that she’s reached three figures, she hopes to turn age to her advantage.

“The microphone was often turned off when I started to speak about the swimming pool, and then of course you stop, there’s no point,” she told Reuters.

“But now that I’m 100, I’m in a different position. Now I have the chance to open my mouth and say something.”

The ballot is on May 26 and voters in Kirchheimbolanden, a town of some 8,000 in the south-western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, are starting to listen.

A well-known figure locally, Heise is running as a candidate for grassroots group “Wir fuer Kibo” (“Kirchheimbolanden is Us”), which campaigns for sustainable development and more civic engagement.

“We’re very happy to have Lisel Heise on board. She’s brought us publicity so we can communicate our goals better and get our message across,” said group board member Helga Buermann.

A grandmother and great-grandmother many times over, Heise’s main hope in running for office is that she can “finally do something for young people.”

And what of her wider political views?

“Brexit should never have been given a platform. And I find it splendid that young people are trying to tackle climate issues. One can only wish them every success in that venture.”

Whatever the result next month, Heise has some tips for anyone wanting to follow in her footsteps.

“To reach the age of 100, I tell everybody: live healthily when you’re young, do lots of sport, eat well and train your mind,” she said.

Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Katie Stephens; Editing by John Stonestreet

Source

more recommended stories

  • Bombs kill more than 200 in Sri Lankan churches, hotels on Easter Sunday

    COLOMBO (Reuters) – More than 200.

  • Saudi Arabia, UAE grant $3 billion of support to Sudan

    DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and.

  • Sri Lanka government declares curfew, shuts down access to major social media sites

    Sri Lankan military stand guard in.

  • In nod to debt concerns, China Belt and Road summit to urge sustainable financing

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) – World leaders meeting.

  • Doves, heartbreak and hope on 20th anniversary of Columbine High massacre

    LITTLETON, Colo. (Reuters) – A week-long.

  • Death toll from Congo boat accident rises to 40 – interior minister

    KINSHASA (Reuters) – Twenty-seven more people.

  • Yellow vest demonstrators, police clash in Paris

    PARIS (Reuters) – Clashes broke out.

  • Clashes break out between police and some yellow vest rioters in Paris

    PARIS (Reuters) – Clashes broke out.

  • Kosovo brings back fighters, families of jihadists from Syria

    PRISTINA (Reuters) – Kosovo brought back.

  • China to show new warships as Beijing flexes military muscle on navy anniversary

    QINGDAO, China (Reuters) – China will.

  • Pompeo says nothing’s changed on North Korea talks – ‘It’ll be my team’

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State.

  • Mueller report strengthens resolves on both sides of political spectrum

    CLEARWATER, Florida/LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – After.

  • Democrats make legal bid for all Russia probe evidence, Trump calls Mueller report ‘crazy’

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional Democrats on.

  • Explainer – Egypt votes on changing its constitution

    CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt holds a.

  • ‘Tank man’ video for Leica sparks outcry in China ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

    BEIJING (Reuters) – Germany’s Leica Camera.

  • China says Silk Road not geopolitical tool, understands concerns

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Belt and.

  • Trump spoke with Abu Dhabi crown prince on Thursday – White House

    FILE PHOTO: Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince.

  • In unflattering detail, Mueller report reveals Trump actions to impede inquiry

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Special Counsel Robert.

  • Mueller report provides intimate scenes from the Trump White House

    (Advisory: Story includes language throughout that.

  • Barr begins rollout of Russia report in landmark moment for Trump

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General.

  • Time-lapse shots of Notre-Dame spire may offer clues on blaze

    A view shows Notre-Dame Cathedral after.

  • Iran says its armed forces are not a regional threat, calls for unity against U.S.

    LONDON (Reuters) – President Hassan Rouhani.

  • White House, Justice Department officials discussed Mueller report ahead of release – NYT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House lawyers.

  • Release of Mueller’s Trump-Russia report looms as fight brews over redactions

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional Democrats could.

  • Saudi Arabia to host G20 Leaders’ Summit in November 2020: SPA news agency

    CAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia will.

  • Peru ex-president Garcia shoots himself as police try to arrest him

    FILE PHOTO: Former Peruvian president Alan.

  • Indonesia presidential election unofficial results

    JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko.

  • Spain’s Socialists hold lead ahead of election, still short of majority – poll

    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Socialists broadened.

  • Trump vetoes congressional resolution to end U.S. involvement in Yemen war

    FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump.

  • 150 missing after shipwreck in eastern Congo

    KINSHASA (Reuters) – About 150 people.

  • Mutual friends and borrowed cars – how Ukraine’s would-be leader is linked to tycoon

    KIEV (Reuters) – Volodymyr Zelenskiy, front.

  • No sign of arson in Notre-Dame blaze as nation grieves for symbol

    PARIS (Reuters) – The fire that.