Training pays off

By Benalla Ensign

Benalla sportswoman Anne Cresswell recently celebrated her 80th birthday in style, competing in the Queensland Indoor Rowing Championships.

Anne was in the 80-84 age category, with her focus firmly set on breaking existing records.

In four of her five gruelling races, Anne broke four lightweight World Records by considerable margins, as well as two heavyweight World Records.

Her time of 2.01.9 for the 500-metre event slashed 16.7 seconds off the existing record, while the 200 metre time of 9.07.4 broke the previous World Record by 16.3 seconds.

Anne said she was deeply satisfied with her results.

‘‘I trained hard for it and it was my ambition, so I had satisfaction that the training had worked,’’ Anne said.

‘‘I always enjoy the competition and meeting up with old friends.

‘‘It’s the camaraderie with the people in the same sport that’s great and all the people that you meet.’’

About 100 competitors ranging from teenagers to 90-year-olds competed at the Kawana Waters College campus.

The local sportswoman is a regular competitor in the Queensland event, as well as the biennial Pan Pacific Games on the Gold Coast.

Anne has twice represented Australia at the 2000-metre World Championships in Boston, United States, earning a silver medal in 2007, followed by winning gold in 2009.

This was only months after she took up the sport at Darren Moze’s former studio in Benalla.

In 2010 Anne travelled to Birmingham, England, where she set a new British record for the 2000-metre event.

For her successes and achievements in indoor rowing and National Masters Swimming, Anne was nominated for a COTA award by the Benalla Swim Club, winning the award in 2012.

A member of the YMCA aquatic centre since its conception, Anne regularly trains in the gym and attributes her fitness level to the twice weekly core strength classes run by Phil Schultz and his team.

In light of all of her success as an athlete, Anne’s showing no signs of slowing down.