News & Updates

8 April 2021 • Track and Field

Q and A with Bella and Chloe Browne

Photo: Mark Roberts 

Auckland-based Bella and Chloe Browne have made quite an impact this year with the former taking U-20 national 1500m gold and the latter winning the New Zealand U-20 3000m title. Here we find out more about the 17-year-old twins as they take on our regular Q and A feature. 

Why did you start athletics? 

Bella: I first started athletics around the age of ten and joined my local club, Pt Chevalier, because I enjoyed primary school cross country races. I remember starting out by throwing the shot put and discus more than running!

Chloe: I knew I had a talent for running because I was fast at football and because I liked the thought of beating my sister. I started running at the age of 12. Although to start with I spent more time in the sprinting blocks than running laps.

What was the last piece of athletics advice you received? 

BB: “Learn how to bring your best and be consistent.” One of my friends gave me this piece of advice before a race. When I looked at successful careers, I noticed consistency was an especially common trait. Someone who has the ability to maintain high levels of performance and who can show up when it counts is going to do well. 

CB: Food = Fuel. This was advice I received from psychologist and nutritionist Dr Stacy Sims.

What has been your career highlight? 

BB: Probably winning the national U-20 1500m title in March or running the 4x400m. I love running a good 4×4 relay! 

CB: Probably winning the national U-20 3000m title and New Zealand Secondary Schools 3000m gold.

What has been your athletics low?

BB: Getting told that events have been cancelled/postponed. It’s something we obviously couldn’t control during Covid but it’s still pretty devastating.

CB: Being told that Covid-19 led to the postponement of the World Cross Country Championships in Australia.

Where do you see your athletics career ten years from now? 

BB: I’m not sure which athletic path I’m going to take but I hope to be healthy and still enjoying the sport.

CB: I’m honestly not too sure. I’ll see where university takes me but hopefully I’ll be fit, healthy and happy.

Which athlete is the most interesting to follow on social media? 

BB: Probably my friends, who are really into their sport and are achieving at a high level.

CB: Genevieve Gregson (the 2016 Rio Olympic 3000m steeplechase finalist from Australia) and Angie Petty (the 12-time national senior middle-distance champion).

Do you have a favourite athletics social media post? 

BB: Probably this quote I read on Instagram the other day: “It’s cool to care about your sport but you should remember it isn’t who you are as a person.”

CB: The Race09 video. The edit is super cool and even my friends who hate running wanted to join!

If you could change one thing about the sport, what would it be and why? 

BB: The stigma around being a long distance runner. Lighter doesn’t always equal faster.

CB: The perception around how weight somehow correlates to speed. It’s unfair that people feel pressured by society to fit the stereotypical runner’s body to be ‘fast’.

Which athlete do you most admire from your event? 

BB: I admire anyone who works hard in athletics. 

CB: Aussie endurance runners Genevieve Gregson and Jess Hull.

Outside of athletics what is your greatest accomplishment this year? 

BB: Playing a grade 8 piece for my classical guitar solo performance.

CB: Maybe being a school prefect.

What was your most embarrassing moment in high school? 

BB: When I accidently emailed the entire school asking for an extension for my essay.

CB: Messing up in a band during an assembly performance.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why? 

BB: I would be a monkey because they’re naughty and cheeky!

CB: A lion because they are dominant.  

Do you have a nickname? 

BB: Most people call me Bells or Bella-bo.

CB: Chlo.

If you could have a superpower what would it be and why? 

BB: The ability to control the weather for the perfect conditions, so that it could always be good for sports like skiing and sailing!

CB: To fly because it would be sick to see the routes I run from a birds-eye view!

What is the funniest joke you know?

BB: What did the melon say when his lawn looked dry? Guess it’s time to watermalawn!

CB: What do you call a bee that comes from America…a USB!

Where do you see yourself when you are 50? 

BB: I hope to be having fun with my friends.

CB: Hopefully healthy with lots of mates!

What is the most ridiculous fact you know? 

BB: That if you put a grape into the microwave it will light on fire. 

CB: No number from 1 to 999 includes the letter ‘a’ in its word form.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be and why? 

BB: Waiting in queues or traffic. It’s such a waste of time and bad for the environment.

CB: For more people to be kind to each other.

If you could host a talk show what three guests would you invite and why? 

BB: Harry Styles (pop star) because he’s hot! Eliud Kipchoge because he’s fast and I feel like if I touched him maybe it could rub off and Tom Holland (actor) because he’s Spiderman!

CB: Ralph Vaugh Williams (composer), Andrea Pirlo (ex-footballer) and Eliud Kipchoge (marathon star). I chose these people as they have different talents which I am interested in.