A BREATHTAKING art exhibition has opened inside NHS Forth Valley Royal Hospital, shining a light on international athletes aged 60 and above.

The exhibition has been put together by photographer Alex Rotas and hopes to challenge widely held misconceptions about what growing older means.

Selections from Alex’s series of senior Scottish sports participants has also been added into the project, which aims to encourage fresh thinking on how older people can stay fit, healthy, engaged and happy.

Each athlete is portrayed in action at their chosen event, including the sprint, hurdles, long and high jump, pole vault and distance races.

Alex explained: “I first became interested in photographing older competitive sports people when I realised that as a swimmer, tennis player and runner, I was becoming one myself!

“Yet when I studied how over-60s are portrayed in popular culture, I realised it was usually as infirm, immobile, spent and sad.

“So, I set out to capture positive images of active elders enjoying sport and soon discovered they are not a rare and exotic species; they are present in every locality and with a select few achieving times or distances that compare very respectably with those of much younger athletes.”

The exhibition has received positive reviews from patients, visitors and staff commenting on how uplifting and inspiring they were.

The project features 12 images, all by Alex Rotas, including elder Scottish athletes Jim Smith, Phyllis hands, Hugh McGinlay as well as a range of international sportspeople.