The JCU Townsville Fire has today unveiled dual Olympic gold medallist Renita Garard OAM as the clubÕs inaugural Patron.
The former Hockeyroos captain, who is a director at PricewaterhouseCoopersÊand Chair of the Port of Townsville, is a proud North Queenslander and a champion of regionally-based sporting organisations.
Among other past and present roles, Ms Garard has served on the boards of Hockey Australia and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) based in Switzerland, while she was recently appointed as a non-executive director of Queensland Rugby League.
Having represented Townsville proudly on the international stage, Ms Garard said it was an honour to be named Patron of the Fire given their role in the North Queensland community.
ÒI am extremely passionate that children in regional locations receive the same opportunities to further their sporting interests and passions just as those who live in metropolitan areas,Ó Ms Garard said.
ÒAnd for those aspiring elite athletes, this includes access to world-class training and support.
ÒImportantly, access to world-class, inspirational athletes such as the Townsville Fire is also a critical element in the long journey to become an elite athlete.
ÒI look forward to the privilege of working with the Townsville Fire leadership, fans and the community to build on the sporting history of Townsville and our surrounding communities.Ó
Having represented the Hockeyroos from 1994 to 2000, Ms Garard captured seven international gold medals including World Cups in 1994 and 1998 Ð the latter as co-captain Ð as well as triumphing at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics.
JCU Townsville Fire Chair Michelle Morton said the club was thrilled that Ms Garard had agreed to become their inaugural Patron.
Fire ambassadors Glenn Hall, Jade Holland, Michael Morgan and Karrie Webb will continue to work with the club.
ÒRenita has proven herself to be a world-class athlete and a strong and effective director in the business community,Ó Mrs Morton said.
ÒThe Fire prides ourselves on providing positive, healthy, female role models to the North Queensland community and Renita possesses similar values.
ÒWe have no doubt that she will be a strong addition to our club.Ó
The Fire will commence their WNBL campaign on October 5 with an opening round blockbuster against Melbourne.
Renita Garard Biography:
1994-2000 Member of Australian WomenÕs Hockey Team
Olympic Gold Medallist Ð 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games (Co Vice-Captain)
Olympic Gold Medallist Ð 2000 Sydney Olympic Games (Captain in Final)
World Cup Gold Medallist Ð 1994 World Cup
World Cup Gold Medallist Ð 1998 World Cup (Co-Captain)
Champions Trophy Gold Medallist Ð 1995, 1997, 1999
Other qualifications, awards, memberships and roles
Director Ð Queensland Rugby Football League Limited (2017 and ongoing)
Director / Finance Director Ð Hockey Australia Limited (2000 to 2012)
Chairperson Ð Hockey Australia Athletes Committee (2000 to 2008)
Executive Board Member Ð International Hockey Federation (2006 to 2012)
Chairperson Ð International Hockey Federation Athletes Committee (2006 to 2010)
Member Ð International Hockey Federation Competitions Committee (2005 to 2010)
Member Ð International Hockey Federation Compliance and Risk Committee (2010 to 2012)
Recipient Ð Order of Australia Medal (OAM) Ð 2006
Recipient Ð Australian Sports Medal Ð 2000