Rosemary Payne (nee Charters) was born 19th May 1933 in
Kelso. Although she always won races at school, it was not
until she attended Edinburgh University to read for an MA in
general arts that she had her first opportunity to throw the
discus. Rosemary became one of Britain’s greatest and most
durable discus throwers.
In 1958 at the then Empire Games, Rosemary finished 10th with a throw of 34.96 metres. By 1966 she finished 4th in the Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica and won the gold medal for Scotland in the 1970 Commonwealth Games. In 1972 she represented Great Britain in the women’s discus, at the Munich Olympic Games, reaching the final with an excellent 56.50 metres. (The Munich Games were marred by tragedy when eight Palestinian terrorists from the Black September Group, entered the Olympic village attacked the Israeli team, killing 2 members and taking 9 hostages). In 1974 she was silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand. She was also a pioneer hammer thrower as well as a good shot putter. In all Rosemary won 11 Scottish titles, 5 British AAA crowns and contested 3 European Championships. She made some 50 GB appearances, despite not making her debut until the age of 30 and she threw over 55 metres several times, which is still difficult for female competitors today.
In 1974 Rosemary retired and was appointed the GB team manager nurturing the talents of athletes such as Steve Cram, Fatima Whitbread, Colin Jackson and Steve Buckley. Returning to competition at Veterans (Masters) level, she lifted 16 world titles and set four world records.
She is now a key member of the Midlands AA Committee helping to bring on new coaches, whilst also playing golf. Discus thrower Rosemary Payne is the first field athlete to enter the Scottish Borders Sporting Hall of Fame.
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