WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Wendy Johnson of Lismore (left) and Karen Bryant of Yorklea, won gold medals at the Lismore Diggers Swimming carnival.
WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Wendy Johnson of Lismore (left) and Karen Bryant of Yorklea, won gold medals at the Lismore Diggers Swimming carnival. Cathy Adams

Diggers mine FNC zone swimming carnival for gold

GOLD is great but friendship is even better for Karen Bryant and Wendy Johnson.

The Lismore Diggers Swimming Club pair secured the top medals for their Lismore Diggers Swim Club at the Far North Coast Zone Carnival.

It was a first gold medal at carnival level for Wendy (75), who claimed top place in the 75-79 years 30m freestyle swim.

The mother-of-five, who has been with the club for about six years, said she was delighted to win on behalf of her club.

"It was a nice sensation to know I could do it," she said. "There's a great community atmosphere in our club.

"They are very supportive and encouraging.

"It's like having another family."

Scores of swimmers from clubs across northern New South Wales attended the Moree event, which featured races in different divisions and distances.

The contest is among the annual carnivals allowing senior swimmers to show their skills and meet up with other clubs.

Lismore grandmother-of-seven Johnson said she loved attending the "wonderful" carnivals.

"It's inspirational to see some of the other swimmers," she said.

"I have seen one lady who had a stroke and needed help getting into the pool, yet she is still swimming.

"I will keep going."

Meanwhile, Yorklea's Bryant was also delighted after claiming the 50m free

style gold in the 50-55 years division.

It was also a first-ever triumph at carnival level for the 50-year-old mother-of-two, who has been with the Diggers club for about 12 years.

"I was just hoping not to finish last," she said. "Maybe I am not as old as I feel."

Bryant said she gained many benefits from swimming and being part of the club.

"I work full-time - sometimes long hours," she said. "I find swimming very relaxing. We are all friends and have the same idea of going to these carnivals and having a good time.

"I see people like Wendy and I hope I am swimming like her at her age."


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