STRONG LEAD: Wally Lancaster is enthusiastic about Granite Belt Fitness taking the lead in the Concept2 World Indoor Rowing Challenge.
STRONG LEAD: Wally Lancaster is enthusiastic about Granite Belt Fitness taking the lead in the Concept2 World Indoor Rowing Challenge. Liana Turner

Rowers pulling for top spot

Indoor rowing: One of Stanthorpe's fitness centres has been making waves once again in an international competition.

Granite Belt Fitness owner Wally Lancaster said the gym was currently coming first in the health and fitness clubs category.

Lancaster said 46 of his gym's members were taking part in the Concept2 World Indoor Rowing Challenge.

He said the second-placed gym, a three-level establishment in Philadelphia, US, was some 100km behind them.

Lancaster said his gym had surpassed 1000km in the first 10 days of the competition, which spans the month of January.

After taking out third place for the past four years, he hoped to secure the top spot this month.

"We've just rowed over one million metres,” he said.

"At the moment we're leading the Health and Fitness Club category.”

He said all the categories were team-based, with groups including military, schools and correctional centres also involved.

He said it was a great opportunity to get members of the gym involved in reaching a communal goal.

"The idea is to encourage members to participate and be part of something bigger than the local gym,” Lancaster said.

"It's a really good motivator and they start to pull together when they see our metres and our position in the competition improving.”

He said they had seen benefits from the previous rowing challenges.

"This is the fifth year we've done it and we've noticed an increase in camaraderie and participation each year.”

About 100 fitness centres were competing in his category of the challenge, Lancaster added.

If Granite Belt Fitness maintains its first-place position, he said the gym would receive a certificate, along with the much greater reward of nabbing another huge achievement together.

"It's such a small country town in Australia taking on some of the biggest gyms in the world,” Lancaster said.

"What that shows is we're getting a good team commitment. We've been working hard to make people realise what it's about.”

He said members hoped to secure the number one spot by continuing their great effort.

"There's a little bit of boasting rights and the feel-good feeling.”

Stanthorpe Border Post


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