The
Inspiration
Project

WITH BRENDAN CORR

GUEST Eloise Wellings

Eloise Wellings

Episode 32

Eloise Wellings: Episode Description

On this episode of ‘The Inspiration Project’, Brendan Corr talks to Australian Olympic Athlete Eloise Wellings about overcoming stepbacks, finding faith in God and the importance of good coaches and mentors.

Among other things Eloise shares:

  • Growing up in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire
  • Finding faith in God
  • Why Eloise chose running as her profession
  • The importance of coaches and mentors in Elosie’s life
  • How a setback can become a set up
  • Going to Rio and doing well
  • Missing out on several Olympic games and what that taught Eloise
  • Starting her foundation in Uganda

Eloise Wellings: Episode Transcript

Sponsor’s announcement:
This podcast is sponsored by Australian Christian College, a network of schools committed to student wellbeing, character development, and academic improvement.

Introduction
Welcome to The Inspiration Project, where well-known Christians share their stories to inspire young people in their faith and life. Here’s your host, Brendan Corr.

Brendan Corr
Well, hi there, everybody. Welcome to another episode of The Inspiration Project. We trust that you’re enjoying the stories that we’re bringing to you of prominent Christians who’ve navigated the important parts of life and been able to find the place of faith that has carried them through that and given them a sense of direction. Really looking forward to a conversation with our guest in today’s episode. Eloise Wellings is a young mum but best known as a high-performance athlete. Eloise has represented Australia at multiple Olympic Games and a Commonwealth Games. One of the highlights was a gold medal in the World University Games in middle distance. So we’ll get to hear a bit about that and the story of training and competition and what it’s like to be at the highest levels of athletics. Eloise, welcome to The Inspiration Project.

Eloise Wellings
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Brendan Corr
Really delighted. In our chat just beforehand, we found out that you’re a Shire girl.

Eloise Wellings
Shire girl, that’s right.

Brendan Corr
Southern part. This has been your home while you’ve been in Australia?

Eloise Wellings
Yes. So, I mean, on Wikipedia it says, and it’s true, that I was born in New York, in the US. But we moved back to Australia. The rest of my family is Australian but I’m one of four kids in my family. And yeah. My parents were just over there on business for two years and I was born there and it’s been actually really handy for me.

Brendan Corr
I bet.

Eloise Wellings
And having to go on races over there without having to get a visa and all that sort of thing. So yeah, I’m a dual citizen but I’m Aussie.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. I was going to say this is the tricky point of that conversation. Do you consider yourself an American or an Australian?

Eloise Wellings
I don’t. I mean, I wish I could’ve voted but yeah, I’m Australian.

Brendan Corr
That would’ve been cool of itself I think.

Eloise Wellings
Yeah, I know. Yeah. But as you can hear by my ocker accent, I’m Aussie.

Brendan Corr
Way to go. But we will own you for sure. How old were you when your family came home?

Eloise Wellings
I was about 18 months.

Brendan Corr
Oh, then really young. Yes. Your parents were over there for two years, that was it.

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. That was it.

Brendan Corr
I’ll usher you into the world and then bring you back to…

Eloise Wellings
That’s right. They said that I could easily get in later on in life.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. That’s super helpful for you, even the career that you’ve ended up in where you’ve needed to be a bit of a jetsetter, I imagine.

Eloise Wellings
Yeah, that’s right. It’s been really helpful.

Brendan Corr
So we sometimes joke, particularly, Sydneysiders will respectfully look in at the Shire, what life must be like growing up with what is presented as the ideal childhood, teenage experience, even early young adult life. Is it really as glistening to be part of that life as it’s made out to be in the media and in anecdotes and on the socials?

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. I mean, I think it’s a pretty great place to grow up, especially as an athlete. I think I have so many memories as a kid of looking up to some of the great athletes that have come out of the Sutherland Shire, like Chris McCormick, and Craig Alexander, and Ian Thorpe, and lots and lots of professional athletes that were willing to kind of take people like me under their wing and show us a thing or two about sport and about professional sport. And yeah. And so in that sense, it’s like been amazing. And yeah, it’s just great, it seems like a really safe place to bring up a family. And it’s actually a really big community. It’s just this thing that we call it the Shire-thing where you feel like someone because you’ve seen them around, you don’t actually know them. You’ve never met them, but you’ve seen them around a lot. But yeah, that’s just the way it is and yeah, we love it.

Brendan Corr
Country town community only in an ideal beach side location. I want to come back and ask you a bit about mentoring and people that have influenced your life, but we’ll put that on hold. Growing up in the situation that you have, the expectation might be that you’d end up surf lifesaving or distance swimming or something like that rather than ending up in athletics. What was your pathway into athletics?

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. My family, my mom was actually a really good runner and my uncle was a good runner too. We have a local race called the Sutherland to Surf and both my mum and my uncle won that respectively in the women’s and men’s events historically. And yeah, they were good distance runners. And we did Nippers and everything. I tried all sports when I was younger, to be honest, I didn’t really start to focus on running until I was kind of in my teenage years. When I really started to, I guess, focus on wanting to make the Olympics. I wanted to get to the pinnacle of sport, which was the Olympics. And that’s when I started to focus a lot more on running.

Brendan Corr
So as a youngster, you didn’t do any that got you outdoors? Team sports? Individual things? Let me at it, let me at it…

Eloise Wellings
Yes. And I actually think that’s how we used to try everything and see what they love. And yeah, to see what they’re passionate about, and develop skills in each sport, and learn about different events and different sports, and learn how to lose as well. It’s good to be in a team sport and learn how to play with one another. And because running even though it’s an individual sport, you do obviously, you need a team around you and to develop those skills of how to work within a team and within a group environment and communicate clearly. And all of those things start when, can start as young as five or six.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. One of the reasons sport is so big in Australian schools, isn’t it? That we get kids out and start doing those things early because it contributes to the full development of the person.

Eloise Wellings
Yeah, it does. It’s such a long game. And I think, the focus has got to be on fun at that age, especially. And I mean, the focus for us even now is still on fun because we know that when we’re having fun, that’s when we perform our best. But yeah, especially when you’re younger, the focus has got to be on fun rather than be on winning or performance or whatever. But learning as much as you can throughout that process of having fun is what it’s all about.

Brendan Corr
No doubt you’ve been asked this by others, but if you were a jack-of-all-trades at sport and dipping your hand here, there, and everywhere, if it wasn’t athletics, what might it have been?

Eloise Wellings
Something that pays really well like tennis.

Brendan Corr
Tennis, golf…

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. Tennis.

Brendan Corr
Well, now that there are other practicalities in life, aren’t they? You’ve got a big world and you want to have something that can kick back. And I was actually intending to ask you a bit about that, making the choice of the sporting field and endeavour that perhaps less commercial and what that means for you to commit to that. But we’ll dip into that space a little bit later. You’re a teenager growing up in this beautiful part of Sydney, you’re out in the fresh air and developing and growing. And something happened to you that fixed a goal, a target I’m going to compete at the Olympics. Do you remember that moment? Do you remember realising this is the thing I want to commit myself to?

Eloise Wellings
Yeah, I do. I remember watching the Barcelona Olympics on television then when I was 10, and I remember watching the women’s distance events, and I remember just being so inspired and it was then that I really started to show promise at Little Athletics. But to be honest, I would have gone to the Olympics or anything, anything that I could I could make, but I was really stunned to get passionate and good at distance running. And that’s when I set my sights on, making it to the Olympics one day. And yeah, it was six years later that I first qualified for my first Olympic games around the qualifying time for the 5,000 metre event. And yeah, unfortunately I didn’t make those games. I suffered my first stress fracture, my first injury, just a few months out from the Sydney Olympics.

Brendan Corr
That’s a hard story to hear but I want to ask you from 10, you catch this vision?

Eloise Wellings
Yeah.

Brendan Corr
Then it’s right there. You’ve worked. You must have worked so hard in those six years to find well, obviously, with some genetic predisposition. But tell me about the training that had to happen as a young person to run the qualifying time for the Olympics at 16 years of age.

Eloise Wellings
I was probably running about 60 kilometres a week which right now, that would be a very low mileage week for me, but for a 16 year old or 15 year old, it was a decent amount and enough that I could obviously qualify for the Olympic Games with, and you can do that when you’re also running off really raw talent. I think the older you get, the more you need to train, because the less you can rely on natural talent, if that makes sense. Your natural talent will never go away which is reassuring, but you’re coming up against your competition as well in the senior ranks and you need to train like a senior athlete which is why we train a lot more now. But yeah, I was running about 60 kilometres a week and it was hard training. We’d do three track sessions; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and then a long run Sunday. And then runs in between before school, I mean, between days as recovery runs. So 45 minutes to an hour in between at sort of 6:00am.

Brendan Corr
Still six years, especially for someone that’s 10, 11, 12 is a long time that’s more than half your life that you’re committing at that stage you were. Was the goal that you set for yourself? Was that enough to carry you through that time? Or did you need, you mentioned earlier, a team, even though athletics and running in particular is individual. You need people around you. Who was your team at that stage?

Eloise Wellings
My team at that stage was my coach at the time Rod Arnold. And obviously, my mum and dad, and my training partners, one of them was my older brother. And yeah, that was pretty much it. I mean, there’s a PE teacher at school that was really encouraging towards me and became a bit of a mentor. So yeah, that was my basic team.

Brendan Corr
Without the support and encouragement of those people. Would you think you still would have made that qualification at 16?

Eloise Wellings
No. At that age, I think you’re, I’m so reliant on people around me that were close to me and that I trusted believing in myself and telling me that I could do it. I think I’m less, definitely less reliant on people now. Experience shows me and I obviously believe my faith is a big part of who I am and what I do. But yeah, when I was so young, I think words, the words that people around and the beliefs that they instilled were so incredibly powerful that I just believed that I could do it. If they would tell me the same things probably now I’d go, “Oh, yeah”. But when you’re at that age, when you’re a bit green you’re kind of like, okay.

Brendan Corr
Because there’s no reason not to believe, I suppose, is it?

Eloise Wellings
Not a thing. That’s it.

Brendan Corr
You’ve introduced the notion that your faith is important and part of who you are about things. Can you tell us, how did you come to faith?

Eloise Wellings
Yeah, it was actually, well, because I guess I got injured in that first, after I qualified that first Olympics, I was really, really down and I kind of distanced myself from all of my friends at school and I just got, I guess, I got a bit depressed. And there was a new girl to our school. She just came over and sat next to me. And she emphasised with what I was going through. She said, “I heard about your injury and I’m really sorry. And I just want you to know that I’ve been praying for you. And I’ve got some friends from church that are praying for you as well.” And yeah. And she said, “I just believe that everything’s going to work out and God’s got a great plan for your life.”

Brendan Corr
This is one of the conversations you’ve had with this girl is like…

Eloise Wellings
Honestly, it was funny because she was… Because I went to a state school, high school and she had been kicked out of the Christian school for being rebellious. So yeah, she was at our school and she was new and yeah, that conversation really stuck with me because what I knew of God up until that point was that He was this huge being in the sky that was going to punish me if I did something wrong. And that he didn’t care about the intricate details of our lives. And I didn’t know that you could pray for an injury or pray for yourself. And yeah, I went to church with my new friend, Lisa, and heard the gospel for the first time and heard about Jesus. And yeah, I received Christ in the service.

Brendan Corr
I wonder Eloise having carried so much of your ambition and your drive on what you could do yourself, what you could demonstrate and the hard work that you knew was going to turn into success, coming to a sense of faith. Was it letting go of that sort of idea, or was a dissolving of your self-reliance? Was it a big sigh of, I don’t have to carry life, like I’ve been trying to carry my dreams for the Olympic notion?

Eloise Wellings
I think it was a revelation of how much I was loved and valued regardless of how fast I ran.

Brendan Corr
That’s good.

Eloise Wellings
So that was liberating. Because I couldn’t run, so I felt like I’d lost my identity. I felt like I’d lost my value and my worth because I couldn’t run. And then I had this revelation of this unconditional, undeniable, never ending love of Jesus that wasn’t going to change no matter what I did, or how much I screwed up, or how injured I was, or how broken I was. Yeah. And that was liberating. That was a very freeing moment and thought. And it took a little while to kind of grapple that, as well. It wasn’t like, you kind of spread your wings and fly away. It was a journey and it’s still a journey of realising, because I’m still in a sport and we’re all still kind of working our way through life. And I guess the notion of not striving to be enough. It can be challenging on some days, more times on Sundays and it’s not. And I still get feedback every day of performance feedback from training and how does that affect your identity? But I’m more aware of it now. I’m more aware of like that’s the way I used to think. And those thoughts don’t serve me or those thoughts don’t line up with what I value most now, so yeah.

Brendan Corr
I get that, I can understand that living life so dictated to, by making the qualifying mark. Getting to that standard, the personal drive to reach that standard, to perform could easily seep into that’s who I am, that’s how I gain my sense of self.

Eloise Wellings
Totally.

Brendan Corr
That’s sort of what you’re describing from what I’m hearing.

Eloise Wellings
In a lot of ways, having that revelation made me a better athlete because it doesn’t take your ambition away. God still has given me the discipline, and the ambition, and the vision to be a great athlete, but it just means that I’m free to go and do that. I don’t have the fear attached of constantly trying to prove myself or the fear attached. I’m not fearful of losing, running, or getting injured. I know that it’s part of the sport and it may come up, but I know that God’s got a plan and it’s good.

Brendan Corr
Because that wasn’t your first round or it wasn’t your last round of facing some difficulty.

Eloise Wellings
It was not. And that happened another two times that I was measuring for the Olympics and I missed the Olympics. So I got another 10 stress fractures after that. And two of those, put me out of another two Olympics and it wasn’t sure 12 years that I actually lined up at my first Olympics in London, and then again in Rio four years after that. So yeah, I eventually made it, but by the time I lined up, I’d learned so much about myself and this sport and yeah, just so much about, I guess, what it takes to persevere and what it takes to be resilient. And yeah, it’s been such a wonderful journey. I wouldn’t take away any of my injuries has been things that just personally that I’ve learned about myself. And obviously in 2008, when I missed out on my third Olympics, I met Julius Achon and together we started the Love Mercy Foundation and had I not got that injury, that wouldn’t have happened. And yeah, so there’s definitely so many things that have kind of come from, I guess, seemingly really discouraging and disappointing things that have happened, but God turns them around for good.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. I was going to ask you, so you have these, the disappointment of Sydney and then another two examples where, what seems like it was possible dissolves in front of you. Did your faith at that stage give you a different response to those moments of disappointment? Was it just hard?

Eloise Wellings
Oh, yeah, it was in like, in my humanness, I was like, this sucks.

Brendan Corr
No way around that.

Eloise Wellings
This really hurts. And especially the third time, I really thought it was going to be my chance and I was so discouraged and it was probably the only time in my whole career that I’ve actually voiced that, I don’t want to do this anymore. And it was my husband who encouraged me to keep going. And he was just, things could turn around and if they turned around, are you still passionate about running? You still love it? And the answer was still yes, but I was really discouraged at that moment. But I think him planting that seed of things could turn around. Things could turn around and work out for good. And I just found that kind of vision of what could be possible. I think it just encouraged me to keep going. And yeah, then four years later I was finally lining up in London.

Brendan Corr
Tell me a bit about everything you definitely heard as a 10 year old here it is, you’re mid 20s now I suppose.

Eloise Wellings
It was a really emotional moment. I was walking out to my first event. So I ran the 10,000 metres and the 5,000 metres in London, but the first event was the 10,000 metres and it was a packed stadium because Usain Bolt was running on the same night. And so there were 80,000 people in the stadium, and my whole family was there, and my pastor, and some of my best friends. So it was about 18 people that have signed from Sydney. And yeah, it was super emotional. I just remember walking to the starting line and I kept on having all these flashbacks of moments that had gone by that I’d had to fight for this moment, that I’d have had to believe and had to believe that things would work out for good and had to have faith that God had a plan and that if I kept persevering and just kept putting one foot in front of the other, then I’d eventually reach my dream. And then here I was living it. And yeah, it was magical.

Brendan Corr
Being a distance runner, running 10 kilometres around that track and knowing what it means to have to pace yourself and know how to manage the surges of the people in the pack and gauge your efforts so that you’ve still got that kick at the end. Have you been able to adopt any of the training for your, like your race plan, for your life plan? Is it correlated all and say, I know how to endure. Not long it takes to 10,000 metres, it helps me endure 12 years of training for my dream. Are they comparable or?

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. Totally. I think running it teaches you so much resilience and you have to choose discomfort. Every time you run it gets easier as you get fitter, but you keep pushing the boundaries, right? My coach keeps giving us harder and harder workouts. And so you keep getting to that limit of going, I need to choose to lean into this pain. And choose to lean into this discomfort. And yeah, so many times outside of running just in life that you need to choose to lean into discomfort and go, what can I learn here? What can I learn about myself? What can I learn about the faith? What can I learn about how to navigate pain and discomfort? And what can I learn about perseverance and resilience in the midst of being uncomfortable and unfamiliar. And you’re in this unfamiliar zone because I guess the biggest fear is unfamiliarity. Like you’re not familiar with this level of pain. So yeah, it’s taught me so much about life.

Brendan Corr
Do you mind me asking you may not have a comment or experienced it to share with us. But I’m wondering as I’m hearing you talk about the place of pain and discomfort. The difference between the pain and discomfort, when you are moving into that training zone versus the pain and discomfort when something’s gone wrong, you’ve got a stress fracture, have you learned to be discerning about those? And is there a different response from you about those different types of pain or discomfort?

Eloise Wellings
I think just acknowledging, I mean, when you get an injury, there’s almost a bit of a grief process that happens that you have to let go of what you’re aiming for, especially stress fracture, it’s six weeks of bone that doesn’t heal unless you give it rest. And it’s better.

Brendan Corr
Despite that you’d lose your fitness and have to build it up again.

Eloise Wellings
I think that there’s a process that you go through of grieving what’s going to be lost and then. But once I’ve done that, nowadays, it would probably take a day or two and then once there’s a new strategy, I just move on. We’re going to need a strategy of cross training. And this is what the next six weeks looks like, and this is how we’re going to plan and comeback. And I think for me, that’s always been really important is to really quickly to adjust. And I mean, if anything like this year of COVID has taught us is to how to quickly adjust and be flexible to things being cancelled and different opportunities lost and yeah, just having to be flexible and look for other opportunities and look for things that you can learn through what you’re going through and learn through different situations. And then come up with a new strategy and be flexible with that as well. but have a plan in what you’re going to do in those next six weeks. So that’s how I would go about an injury. Like I said, it’s really important for me to have a vision for the next little while so that I can stay motivated and I guess, accountable to a program. And you still feel like you’ve got a goal.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s good. The notion of being able to navigate that sort of space of going to what your capacity is, and not stepping over that, so that you’re preventing injury. We learn better to listen to your body to realise where the line is that you’ve got a trend.

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. I think I have. I definitely know when to back off and we’ve changed my training over the years, and we’ve learned a lot about me individually as an athlete, what I’m capable of and where to kind of take measured risks. And before the London Olympics, my coach basically took off a third of my training. We were taking no risks. He was like, “You’re getting to the starting line of this Olympics. And yes, you won’t be in the shape that you would have been in if we were going to take risks and get away with it, but you’re going to make the line.” And he said, that’s important to your future, the future of you running. And he’s like, it’s really important that you have this first Olympics and you have this experience. And I was all about that. And then four years later, in Rio, it was all about what can we do to get the absolute best performance in Rio? Let’s go and take a couple of risks, sit down. Let’s see what we are capable off. And then, yeah, I made the final in the 5k.

Brendan Corr
Highest ranking woman in Australian woman event?

Eloise Wellings
And yeah. So that was a great success. And I think had I not had London, I wouldn’t have had Rio.

Brendan Corr
That’s good.

Eloise Wellings
And so yeah, it was, it was amazing. And I’m so grateful for my coach to have that foresight, I guess, to give me that opportunity to go okay. Because he’s ambitious as well. And you don’t want to coach an athlete to mediocrity and I’m not saying London was mediocrity, but he had the foresight to go. You’re going to need it. Yeah, it’s a long game.

Brendan Corr
That’s very good. The notion of being able to translate that idea of what you’re learning through your athletics into life, you’ve just been talking about an individualised plan that not taken off the shelf is the stock standard route. That’s going to guarantee your line up at the Olympics. I’ve got to find what’s my path to that. Does that have some parallels for you in life too? That is known there’s little value in just tracking behind somebody else’s path and following what’s right for you.

Eloise Wellings
Totally. I was talking about it with a friend this morning. I think everyone is going to stay in their own lane.

Brendan Corr
A great athletic analogy there.

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. Well, just be confident because you could compare yourself to a lot of people, but comparison is such a joy killer. And then as well, like doing somebody else’s program or doing the same thing as somebody else just makes no sense, because it doesn’t allow you to test your unique capabilities. It doesn’t allow you to dream about what might be possible for you if you get it your way individually. And finding that out is part of the journey and part of the beauty of the journey as well. And sometimes, it is challenging when you don’t get it right. Or for me, like I got injuries but we’ve worked it out. I guess a formula and it’s not like a foolproof formula, it’s constantly changing and evolving. But yeah, it’s not based on what anyone else is doing. It’s based on what we’ve learned about me. And what makes me thrive. And I guess that’s the key is finding out what makes you thrive and going and doing more of that.

Brendan Corr
That’s good. That is so good. Eloise, thank you for your time. Before we wound things up, you mentioned Love Mercy.

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. Love Messy.

Brendan Corr
Love Mercy. What about that? What is that? How are you involved?

Eloise Wellings
Yeah, it’s a foundation that Julius Achon, a Ugandan athlete and I started back in 2009. Julius and I became friends when I was over in Portland trying to make it back for the Beijing Olympics. And he told me all about his story of being born into poverty in Northern Uganda. And he had this vision to go back to his community and start some community development projects. And then he asked us to come alongside him and help him in his vision. And yeah, so we started the Love Mercy Foundation in order to stand alongside Julius and to help people in his community come up with simple solutions to poverty. And one of those solutions is essentially a seeds program, which is a program that’s run primarily with women. He said the main caretaker of the children in Uganda. And how it works is a $30 donation sponsors a woman to go through the program. And she receives 30 kilogrammes of seeds, whether it be beans or rice or Sesame. And out of that 30 kilogrammes of seeds, she harvests between 150 and 300 kilograms of food. And with that food, she can sell it at the marketplace and use that money to pay for her own children’s school fees. She can buy other household items and actually sustain herself. And we found that it’s breaking the cycle of poverty in entire communities. And it’s empowering people to create their own livelihoods so that they don’t need us. They’ve got all the tools and the resources that they need. It’s just this initial capital to buy the seeds that, yeah, that we partner with them in.

Brendan Corr
Have you had a chance to go visit some of the folks that have been the beneficiaries of that?

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. We get over there usually twice a year. I haven’t been for a couple of years because I was pregnant last year. But yeah, and obviously this year with COVID so I’m seeing to get back, but yeah, I’ve been to Uganda about a dozen times.

Brendan Corr
That’s so good. People could find that Love Mercy?

Eloise Wellings
Yeah. Lovemercyfoundation.org. And you can follow us on Instagram as well, Love Mercy Foundation. Yeah, we love your support and come along to our Love Mercy community. And yeah, jump on board.

Brendan Corr
That’d be fantastic. I hope everybody’s taking note of that as we draw our conversation, we’ll close. Eloise, has been delightful to hear your story, to be able to celebrate with you the strength of character that you have, but to find how God touched that strength of character and moulded it into something that has been able to give honour to Him and to make a place for Him in your life. Enjoy all the successes that He’s now brought along. Olympics, athletics, fantastic family with little kids, all of these of God’s goodness to you. Thank you for your time. And please continue to do the work that God calls you to do with Love Mercy, and in all the areas He commissioned you to work.

Eloise Wellings
Thank you.

Brendan Corr
God bless.

Eloise Wellings

About Eloise Wellings

Eloise’s dream to become an Olympic athlete started at a young age. Holding the Under 6’s record in shot put at Little Athletics, she began to show promise as a middle and long distance runner at the age of 10 and moved her focus. Watching the Barcelona Olympics inspired her, and she decided that she wanted to one day compete for Australia. ​ Having qualified for the 2000 Sydney Olympics at just 16 years old, it seemed that her dream had come true. However she suffered a heartbreaking stress fracture, her first of 11, and was unable to compete at the Olympics in her own backyard.​ She didn’t give up on her dream, and despite missing out on the Athens Olympics, and again on the Beijing Olympics due to injury, her dream finally came to fruition in 2012 where she represented Australia at the London Olympics in the 10,000m and 5,000m and track events; placing 21st and 23rd respectively. ​ Other career highlights include a gold medal in the 5000m University Games in 2003, 4th in the 5000m at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2004, and 6th at the Delhi Commonwealth games in the 10,000m in 2010. ​ Most recently at the Rio Olympics, Eloise was the highest placing Australian Athlete in the history of the 10,000m finishing 10th in a personal best time. She followed her career best result with a 9th place finish in the 5,000m final. ​ Eloise has taken on a leadership role amongst other female distance runners and acts a mentor and an inspiration to many young and upcoming athletes.

Photo of Brendan Corr

About Brendan Corr

Originally a Secondary Science Teacher, Brendan is a graduate of UTS, Deakin and Regent College, Canada. While Deputy Principal at Pacific Hills for 12 years, Brendan also led the NSW Christian Schools Australia registration system. Brendan’s faith is grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a deep knowledge of God’s Word. Married for over 30 years, Brendan and Kim have 4 adult children. On the weekends, Brendan enjoys cycling (but he enjoys coffee with his mates afterwards slightly more).