Australian Masters Games

Rowing was the only thing I wanted to be able to do

By Sara Humphris - 9 October 2015

Rowing was the only thing I wanted to be able to do

Tuesday’s Indoor Rowing competition saw Adelaide’s 47-year-old Collette Lancaster-Lockwood take home the gold medal in her 500m event. It wasn’t only the gold medal she walked away with; it was also a new personal best time.

Taking up rowing in 2002 after suffering a workplace back injury, Lancaster-Lockwood has been rowing ever since.

“My friend Clare got me into rowing. We were just talking about it one day and she said come on we’re doing the Masters Games and it just went from there.”

Rowing four to five times a week now, she uses it to keep her mobility up and limit her pain as she said, “rowing helps relieve the back pain I used to experience.”

She competed in her first Games in 2003, following on with appearances in 2005, 2007, and 2011. No stranger to the Games, Lancaster-Lockwood is the first one to be in supporting her fellow rowers.

“We egg each other on, they’re just all nice people. It’s good fun.”

Speaking highly of the sport and more so her fellow participants, Lancaster-Lockwood said, “rowing is the friendliest competition I’ve ever been involved in.”

But her story doesn’t end there.

In 2013 she suffered from Encephalitis, which left her hospitalised and having to learn how to walk all over again.

If you thought this could stop her, you were very wrong.

“When I was in hospital, rowing was the only thing I wanted to be able to do again.

Purely because I wanted to prove I could do it, because it’s really hard work. And I can do it with three limbs, and that’s okay.”

This years Games mark her first Australian Masters Games appearance since the horrific event, but you would never know. Stepping out to compete in the Para Women’s 500m event, Lancaster-Lockwood had an incredible row.

After a rather exceptional performance, Lancaster-Lockwood walked away with the ultimate prize of the much-wanted gold medal, and a new personal best time.

Also competing in the Para Women’s 1000m and 2000m Indoor Rowing events, Lancaster-Lockwood is certainly one to watch.

The 15th Australian Masters Games are being held in Adelaide, October 3-10, featuring more than 10,000 participants from across Australia and around the world.

The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia. 

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