Twenty years after she represented Australia at the Sydney 2000 games, former Matildas legend Heather Garriock will lead her country to Tokyo 2021, albeit in a vastly different role.
Heather Garriock was today announced as CEO of Australian Taekwondo, a role that she will commence in December.
Her role will focus on growing grassroots participation in Taekwondo. Her appointment also correlates with the next stage of taekwondo’s high performance strategy as it enters a partnership with Boxing Australia and Judo Australia, to form a new combat sport high performance entity, the Combat Institute of Australia.
The main focus of this partnership will be on elite performance and the pursuit of delivering success at the international level in the lead up to the 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and beyond.
"I am very pleased and extremely humbled to be appointed to this important and significant role in Australian sport. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Australian Taekwondo for their confidence in me.
"I commit to the thousands of athletes, coaches, instructors, administrators, fans and volunteers—indeed all participants—to do my utmost to progress this organisation forward for the benefit of all,” said Garriock in a press release.
“As a two time Olympian and having represented the country in football 130 times, I hope to be able to bring both my international playing and coaching experience in the high-performance arena to drive the sport to the 2021 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.
“That said, as a mother of three young children, I am equally aware of the importance of sport and physical activities, such as taekwondo, on our young Australians. I see this sport as a valuable activity and an asset that we can collectively promote and grow. This will benefit community health and wellbeing, including those within our schooling and education systems, as well as those who become part of our talented athlete pathways.”
It is estimated currently there are approximately 300 clubs that provide Taekwondo activities in Australia to over 50,000 active participants with 13,500 of these being currently registered members of the organisation.
Garriock won 130 caps for Australia and appeared at two Olympic Games. She had a celebrated club career overseas before transitioning into coaching in the W-League. She has also worked as a commentator and this year became the first Australian woman to be part of a men's UEFA Champions League coverage.
Her leap into administration of an elite level sport is a fantastic testament to her success, work ethic and experience.