My first interview at Harold Holt Swimming Pool - this iconic pool in Malvern was bizarrely named in honour of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt. Harold Holt went missing, believed drowned in December 1967.

I talk with Jennie Bucknell after she had finished one of her Coaching sessions.

Jennie also trains and coaches at Prahran Pool which is where I met her.

This year Jennie is training to compete at the Masters Pan Pac competitions in Southport Queensland. She will be swimming in the 50m, 100m Freestyle and Backstroke events as well as the 50m Butterfly.

Having learnt to swim at Harold Holt Pool, Jennie was swimming 10hrs a week by age 9! For 3 years swimming was before and after school and pretty full on training. However a falling out with her coach at the time saw her lose interest and she decided to quit swimming.

It wasn't until she was 40 years old that Jennie started to take swimming seriously again.

In an effort to stay fit, she and her Mothers Group started swimming and at their request she began coaching them.

Jennie was so fast in the pool she actually qualified to compete for entry to the Australian team for the London Olympics in 2012.

At age 45 Jennie was competing against 15 year olds.

Emma McKeon was at the trials and is a well known Aussie swimmer, but it was her Mum that Jennie remembers competing against when she was a young girl. Past olympians such as Libby Trickett (Lynton) were also looking for a place in the 2012 team.

While the achievement to compete was remarkable Jennie said it was not so unusual as the USA swimmer Dara Torres was still swimming in Olympics at age 40.

So while not being successful in getting a spot on the Olympic Team, Jennie did however break a National Masters Record in 2017.

At the National swimming competition that year Jennie beat record set by Shane Gould in 2004. Breaking her time of 30.48 seconds for 50m Butterfly, Jennie swam the distance in 30.40 seconds.

(Jennie doesn't go into this in the Podcast, but I Googled it! )

Jennie has also competed at FINA Masters International World Championships in 2008 and 2012. She is also hoping to compete next year in these competitions in South Korea.

We then chat about some travel Jennie has done with Swim tours in Europe and the Caribbean through Cousins Travel.

We chat a little about Japan and her time spent there working as a ski instructor and golf caddie.

Always a sprinter Jennie, gave Triathlons a shot, but the events were too long for her!

Hopefully if her shoulder holds out, Jennie plans to swim on forever.

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