KIAMA Downs resident Pam Munday’s return to her “first love” – swimming – is proving an ongoing success.
The 64-year-old learnt to swim at age eight, and by nine was competing at state level.
“I picked it up pretty quickly,” she said.
“I gave up when I was 15, but I swam at national level as a teenager.
“Even though I always liked the water, I didn't swim competitively for another 42-43 years.”
During the downtime she would only rarely visit the pool to do a few laps.
“When I retired in 2006, I started thinking about it and then I actually joined a club in late 2008.
“But it's really only once I retired I felt I could really get back into it.”
Munday began competing in late 2009.
She took part in the World Masters event in Sydney that year, taking home medals in two events.
Munday competed in the Masters Swimming NSW Short Course Championships in Woy Woy earlier this month.
“We’re allowed to swim in five events, and I’m in the 65-69 age group,” she said.
“I won all five of my events, and set a national (age group) record in the 200m butterfly.
“I shaved a bit over a second off the previous record.”
Munday said achieving first place was a bonus when entering these events.
“I don’t compete to win,” she said.
“You do feel good when you do win, but it’s not my motivation.
“My pet events are the 200m breaststroke and the 200m butterfly, and I just want to swim it right.
“It rarely happens that you get it right, and when you do, you usually swim a good time.”
Munday said getting it “right” entailed pacing the race correctly.
“You can’t go any faster… As you’re swimming the race, part way through you don’t feel like your legs are going to fall off or anything,” she said.
“You’re in control of the race the whole way. You know almost as soon as you dive in whether it’s going to be right.
“This time when I did the 200m breaststroke, it was the first event of the meet, it didn’t feel right.
“But when I did the 200m butterfly, it felt good.”
This success follows winning three golds and three silvers at the Masters Swimming Australia National Championships in Melbourne earlier this year.
This was preceded by success at the NSW titles, where Munday brought home seven gold medals.
The recent Short Course Championships was Munday’s last competition event for 2016.
However, she’s eyeing off next year’s State Long Course Championships, and plans to head to Auckland for the World Masters Games.
Munday is also an avid snow skier, although doesn’t participate in competitions.
“I love swimming, and for me, I'm a physical person, so I like staying active,” she said.
“But swimming's my first love.
“As I get older I’m on the bucket list for skiing, visiting as many places as I can.
“I think I’ll be able to keep swimming for as long as I like, but skiing’s a different matter,” she laughed.