A passion for fitness has been a driving force in Maureen Cummings’ life since childhood.
The former elite athlete, renowned triathlon competitor, Commonwealth Games representative, coach and future GemLife Maroochy Quays resident is a firm believer in staying active and, just as importantly, having fun while doing it.
“Fitness is the most important thing. It’s been my life’s passion,” said Maureen. A leading triathlete at her peak and a world-class age grouper and campaigner for the sport, Maureen has competed in triathlons for 31 years, representing Australia at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, competing for Australia at numerous world titles and winning her age title at the 2000 Perth world championship. In 2018, Triathlon Australia named her a Legend of the Sport in recognition of her achievements and dedication to the sport. As a coach she served on numerous selection committees from 1996 – including for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
With no intention of slowing down, today Maureen fits swimming, cycling, running, and strength and conditioning training into her regular routine, alongside her full-time job at Sunshine Coast Grammar School as Head of Primary Sport where she’s worked for 18 years. Next year, Maureen is keen to compete in the Noosa Triathlon, one of her favourite events, as well as the Nepean Triathlon in Penrith in 2022.
“It’s essential to be active, work your muscles and take the time to look after yourself. It’s a threefold effort – exercise, eat well and get plenty of rest and sleep,” she said.
“Sleep is important. When I was competing at an elite level, I’d love taking daytime naps. I love sleep!”
For Maureen and partner Jackie Byrnes OAM, a trailblazing, highly-regarded sportswoman and coach who trained elite runners including Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, Jana Pittman and Alison Quinn, moving to GemLife Maroochy Quays was all about the friendly, social lifestyle as well as terrific facilities.
“The two swimming pools will be great, and we love that there is RV space for caravans. There’s a strong community spirit too,” she said.
A pet-friendly environment is also a plus as Maureen and Jackie are long-time supporters of Smart Pups. The pair help the organisation by fostering assistance dogs for kids with special needs such as epilepsy and autism.
“We’re looking after our third dog now, Grover. He has a great personality and we secretly hope he fails his assistance dog test,” she laughed.