Sports Hall of Fame: Shepparton’s iron woman

By Liam Nash

This year, 23 local sporting legends are being inducted to the honour roll and junior honour roll categories in the Greater Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame.

The News is featuring stories on each of the inductees in the lead-up to the induction ceremony on August 16.

Today, News journalist Liam Nash speaks to triathlete Pamela Pogue, who is being inducted to the honour roll.

Although parenthood can be considered the ultimate run-around, Pamela Pogue sweated more than most mothers.

Shepparton’s very own ''‘matriarch of multi-racing'' initially started competing in triathlons as a means to keep fit after a lengthy hockey career, but Pogue took to the sport like a duck to water and never looked back.

Growing up on a farm in the Katandra, Pogue began training for a sport she hadn’t even heard of by riding to and from school every day.

While her father played cricket in the summer and footy in the winter, she decided to adopt hockey as a way to spend her free time.

“That was the entertainment back then, there wasn’t much else,” Pogue said.

“I was madly into hockey and so I started playing in Shepparton when I began secondary school because there was just more going on.”

But she did far more than just play.

Following on from an illustrious tenure playing for the Strikers, she was awarded life membership of the club as well as the Shepparton Women’s Hockey Association.

Wonder woman: Pamela Pogue remains one of Shepparton's most astounding athletes after starting out as a triathlete in her 40s.

But in 1989 Pogue found herself without a hobby and unable to ignore an increasing itch for competitive sport, so she decided to enter a triathlon as a means to stay fit.

“Once most of my kids moved out and went to university I still had one child at home, but I had nothing to do, so I decided to do a short triathlon and I really loved it,” Pogue said.

“By 1992 I was doing the Olympic distance triathlon while working fulltime.”

Pogue became the Victorian champion for her respective age group that same year and went on to represent Australia at the World Olympic Distance Triathlon in the US  during 1996 alongside fellow Australian Pauline McCann.

“Going to Cleveland in August while it was still winter at home was a hard lesson, it was so hot I couldn’t even wear a wetsuit,” she said.

“I am quite personally driven, but McCann, it was really inspirational to see how hard she worked.

“If I got sooky at the conditions, I would simply look at her and realise that it was nothing.”

For the next four years Pogue went on to complete eight triathlons a season — a period running from November to March — winning Olympic distance triathlons as well as a number of Sun Smart series.

After the turn of the century Pogue continued to perform in her age classes, and even carried the Olympic torch into Tatura in 2000.

Pogue finally decided to call it quits in 2012 and was awarded life membership of the Shepparton Tri Club.

Her success wasn’t the result of genetic supremacy or dumb luck, but rather a culmination of training and hard work ingrained in her from a young age.

More stories from this year's Hall of Fame inductees

Sports Hall of Fame: Kyabram’s Noela Laws loved softball

Sports Hall of Fame: Rejoice for Joyce

Sports Hall of Fame: Ian Fitzsimmons

Sports Hall of Fame: Fred McMahon