Courtesy: Swimming Australia
Olympic gold medallist Jodie Henry will make a triumphant return to swimming in September when she takes on a new role at Swimming Australia as part of the Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement team.
Working closely with fellow Olympian Linley Frame in her role as Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement Manager, Henry will join Swimming Australia in a Coordinator role based out of Queensland for three days a week, embedded in the performance pathway and high performance teams.
Swimming Australia Chief Strategist Alex Baumann said it was a fantastic coup to have Henry back working in swimming and thanked the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for their continued investment in this space.
“She has been there and done that, she knows the pressures that come with elite swimming and will be able to provide our athletes with great personal development advice and career and education support,” he said.
“We already have a very strong athlete wellbeing structure in place and are doing some outstanding work with Linley – to now have two Olympians working with our current and aspiring Olympians and Paralympians is superb.
“The AIS has made a significant investment into the athlete wellbeing area and we are incredibly grateful for this. We see it as an integral aspect of high performance sport and an important part of an athlete’s progression through to the elite level.”
Henry said it was exciting to be back working in sport and to have the opportunity to give back to swimming.
“Working in this space is something I have been wanting to do for a while. I have experienced it firsthand, not only through my own career but with my husband’s career in the AFL as well, so I have seen different perspectives.
“I took up the opportunity last year to study a certificate IV in career development through the AIS and have been lucky enough to work on the Gold Medal Ready program which has put me in a good place now to be able to offer that advice,” she said.
“Sport is very different to any other career, all of a sudden you just don’t do it anymore, so I’m really looking forward to working with athletes on opportunities for them to learn and grow, both now and during that transition phase.”
Henry’s golden career in the pool saw her claim gold in the women’s 100m freestyle at the 2004 Olympics – the first Australian in 40 years to win the premier sprint event. She went on to claim two further gold medals at the games in the 4x100m medley relay and 4x100m freestyle relay – breaking the world record and swimming the fastest split of any women in an anchor leg.
She backed up her Olympic gold with a world championship title in the 100m freestyle at Montreal in 2005, before going on to claim a silver at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and two further relay gold at the world championships in 2007 before retiring from competitive swimming in 2009.
Henry will begin her role with Swimming Australia on September 1.