Picton girl breaks 45-year swimming record

Big splash: Denise Grabe is well on her way to achieving her dream of Olympic gold. She broke a 45 year backstroke record.
Big splash: Denise Grabe is well on her way to achieving her dream of Olympic gold. She broke a 45 year backstroke record.

Denise Grabe might only be 11 years old but she's already set her sights on Olympic gold.

The talented swimmer recently broke Picton Swimming Club's longest held female swimming record.

In 1974 Carmel Whitten set a 50-metre backstroke record with a time of 41.40 but Denise smashes that record with a time of 40.75.

The Picton girl said she was proud of her efforts.

"It was a big achievement for me," Denise said.

"I didn't expect that I could do it - but I did."

Denise first jumped into the pool competitively five years ago.

"I didn't really like swimming at first but I kept going every day and I just grew to really love it," she said.

"It's all I want to do now.

"I just want to keep getting better and keep getting good times."

The Broughton Anglican School student trains every day.

Denise is often up at 5am to train before school.

"It's a great way to start the day before school with a good soak and some goggle masks on my face," she joked.

"I really like to train though.

"I want to hold the record for the 1500-metre butterfly or freestyle one day."

Denise said freestyle and butterfly were her favourite strokes.

"I like freestyle because it's a little easier than the other strokes but I love butterfly because it's a bit harder," she said.

"Butterfly is a bit of a different stroke but I think it's really fun."

The passionate swimmer recently swam the 50-metre freestyle in 31.75 which she said was a personal best.

Denise hopes to one day represent Australia at the Olympics.

"I hope to win gold one day - I'd like to become the best swimmer in Australia," she said.

"Swimming is just a really great sport.

"It's fun, you get to meet lots of people at competitions and I love to compete with other people."

Denise encouraged other young people to consider swimming as a sport.

"Come and swim with Picton Swimming Club - people are amazing, they give you really good support and it's really fun," she said.