Campbelltown mother and daughter master the art of winning in the pool

Winning mentality: Pat Lewis and her daughter Katie know how to be first to reach a finish line. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Winning mentality: Pat Lewis and her daughter Katie know how to be first to reach a finish line. Picture: Jonathan Ng

MOTHER and daughter Pat Lewis, 54, and Katie, 25, would have to be two of the region's — if not Australia's — most prolific Masters medal winners and record breakers in the swimming pool.

The Campbelltown Collegians Masters Swimming Club members backed up from their impressive performances at the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy, in August. They won 11 medals between them.

They added 13 more at the recent Australia Masters Games in Geelong.

Katie surpassed her mother, winning eight medals in the pool at Geelong. Pat won gold in the two-kilometre steeplechase and discus, a bronze in the javelin and a silver and bronze in swimming events.

Their achievement was made all the more remarkable as they both had health struggles during the competitions.

Pat had been battling breast cancer and had heart problems.

She has had four months of chemotherapy and 24 doses of radiation.

Katie has had problems with a shoulder.

"A doctor told me in 2009 that I'd never swim again but that made me more determined," Pat said.

"It took two long years of rehab to get back in the pool.

"I started competing again last year.

"Swimmers in my age group are really talented.

"I'm more talented at athletics but it takes a bit more out of the body."

Katie tore her shoulder in three places and will have a shoulder reconstruction next month.

But the injury failed to stop her winning seven individual (800m, 400m, 200m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 200m backstroke, 200m breaststroke, 200m individual medley) and one relay gold medals in swimming, smashing two NSW records (800m free and 400m backstroke) at the Australia Masters Games.

She has broken 40 Australian National records, 31 which she still holds and 72 NSW State records, 38 which she still holds.

"She's broken some of these records multiple times," Pat said.

"We came back home with not really any intention of entering the Australian Masters due to Katie's shoulder injuries and my ongoing battle, but recovered not too bad after Italy and decided to have a go."

Next on the agenda for the swimmers, who said friends and family had played key roles in their success, is next year's Pan Pacific Masters on the Gold Coast.

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