JANE SAVILLE RETIRES, WALKS INTO COMMUNITY ROLE
After an outstanding 20-year career that included four Olympic appearances, highlighted by a bronze medal in 2004, Jane Saville today announced that she will be walking away from competitive athletics to continue her role as a health ambassador through her own community initiative.
The community initiative which involves a family based fun run and walk and an Indigenous Youth athletics Coaching Clinic is an extension of Saville’s long term dedication to the health and wellness of everyday Australians.
The first of the two-day events will take place at Sydney's Yarra Bay over the weekend of Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 and all proceeds will be donated to Ian Thorpe's Fountain for youth charity.
"I am very proud of what I have achieved in my sport, and whilst I will no longer be competing professionally, I will continue to build on my role as a health and wellness ambassador in the community,” said Saville, who also won ten National titles and three consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medals.
“I want to give back to the sport that has given me so much and I feel like I can best do that by encouraging people of all ages to live an active lifestyle through the development of my community events, coaching clinics, my promotional work with my corporate partners and by serving as an ambassador for athletics.”
Saville, who has a Bachelor of Social Science (major Economics) and a Graduate Diploma Applied Finance & Investment, will also continue her association with elite athletics as a member of IAAF Race Walking Committee.
"There are so many people I would like to thank for the role they have played in my career, but I would especially like to thank my parents and sister, Natalie, my husband and coach, Matt, and my sponsors who have been so loyal over the years," the-34-year-old said.
"I have also received fantastic support from so many sectors of the community and media which has been both personally satisfying and positive for the sport of athletics."
Most Australians will remember Saville’s heartbreak at the 2000 Sydney Olympics when she was disqualified only 150m from the finish line, and a certain gold medal. Saville’s outstanding sportsmanship won her international praise which included Sports Illustrated naming it one of their Top Ten Olympic Moments.
Following the disappointment of Sydney, Saville went on to win gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games (the second of three Commonwealth Games gold medals - 1998, 2002, 2006) before clinching an Olympic bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and finishing the year ranked number one in the world. Saville has captained the Australian Athletics Team at Olympic, Commonwealth Games and World Championship level and was the Australian Flag Bearer at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
The aim of the Indigenous Youth Athletics Coaching Clinic and the Salmat Yarra Bay 6km Fun Run and Walk is to bring the sport of athletics to the community, encourage youth participation in athletics, raise money for Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for youth and encourage active and healthy people.
For information about the Yarra Bay Events go to: www.janesaville.com/yarrabay