Pole vault champion leaps to the aid of aspiring youngsters
16 | 7 | 2014
Olympic pole vault champion Steve Hooker is not taking his recent retirement lying down. Hooker, who won Gold for Australia at Beijing 2008, called time on competitive sport in April this year. Since then he has turned his attention to inspiring the next generation in his home country and regularly travels to schools across Australia speaking to young athletes.
The 32-year-old has also created his own development centre in Melbourne to help 16-22 year-old track and field athletes make the transition from junior to senior level. Through his project, Steve hopes to be able to provide better exposure to resources for those who might otherwise miss out on elite-level facilities and specialist coaches.
Speaking after his retirement the Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion said, "I have a passion for developing athletes and I want to make sure that I stay involved with the sport to ensure that as many young athletes as possible are afforded the chance to reach their potential.
"I have learnt a lot in my time and I want to share that with those that are trying to emulate what I have. My experiences have been immense and I think it is vital that those athletes finishing up share that knowledge with those coming through."
Hooker, who is Australia's greatest ever pole vaulter, will travel to Glasgow this July as an athletics commentator at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.