On the track, the numbers alone are staggering – 6 Olympic medals (2 gold) 27 World Championship medals (11 gold), and 8 Commonwealth Games medals (5 gold)! However, what the numbers fail to capture is the essence of Anna off the track, the selfless, inspiring woman who became an official Little Heroes Ambassador in 2010.
In 2008, Anna made a remarkable recovery from a horrific cycling accident that left her with a fractured neck. After rigorous rehabilitation and training, she qualified for the Beijing Olympics later that year where she won the only cycling medal for Australia - a silver in the individual sprint.
Since then Anna has won the Women's Keirin at the World Track Cycling Championships in Paris, and the Women's Sprint Gold Medal against arch rival Victoria Pendleton at the 2012 London Olympics. Due to her outstanding accomplishments, Anna was named as the Official Flag Bearer for the Australian Team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she won Bronze in the Women's Keirin. Her success in what would be her final Olympic campaign saw Anna become Australia's most decorated cyclist in Olympic history, the only woman in the world to medal in all 4 sprint events at the Olympic Games, and the only Australian athlete to medal individually at four consecutive Olympic Games. In August 2014, between Olympic campaigns, Anna raised a remarkable $215,000 when she shaved her head for Little Heroes Foundation live on Adelaide's Today Tonight at the National Wine Centre.
Jessica took up competitive running just four years ago, she is already
building an impressive collection of achievements. In 2012 Jess ran her
first marathon in Nagoya (Japan) in just 2:31:02 and after several
anxious weeks qualified for the London Olympic Games. In just her second
marathon she competed against the world's best and finished an
The following year, Jess finished 11th at the Moscow
World Championships - the best performance ever by an Australian in the
marathon. Then in 2014, Jess claimed the bronze medal in the marathon at
the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Jess has been involved with Little
Heroes Foundation since 2012.
Striker Bruce Djite was born in Washington D.C and moved to Sydney as child. Bruce joined Adelaide United in 2006 and again in 2011 after stints in Turkey and on the Gold Coast. He has since become Adelaide's highest all time goal scorer!
Bruce was an influential player in the Red's 2015/16 season, which saw them claim their first A-League Championship against the Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1.
After becoming a first time dad, Bruce knows the importance of the work we do and says it means a lot to be a Little Heroes ambassador.
NATALIE BODE (VON BERTOUCH)
Natalie has come a long way since throwing the netball around on the family tennis court with her older sister Laura. Since making her international debut for the Australian Diamonds in 2004, Natalie is now regarded as one of the best centre court players in the modern era.
Her career highlights include World Championship wins in 2007 and 2011, ANZ Championships in 2010 and 2013, the 2010 Liz Ellis Diamond, back to back ANZ Championship Player of the Year titles in 2009 and 2010, and two silver medals at the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Natalie was elevated to co-captain of the Australian Diamonds in 2008, and also co-captained the Adelaide Thunderbirds. Natalie retired with 76 appearances for Australia, including 16 as captain, and is the only ANZ Championship captain with two premierships to her name. She also managed to juggle a gruelling netball schedule with her career as a dietician three days a week!
Off the court, Natalie has been an avid supporter of the Foundation since 2010 and since retiring from the game in 2013, has married her partner and Norwood FC Co-Captain Jace Bode in 2014, worked as our Corporate Relations Manager in 2015, and became a first time mum in early 2016.
NATHAN VAN BERLO
from Perth, Nathan van Berlo was drafted to the Adelaide Crows in 2004,
playing his first game as an 18-year-old against Port Adelaide in 2005.
He missed the entire 2014 season through injury but it is great to see
him back in the Crows line up in 2015.
Known for his professionalism and
leadership, 'VB' retired from the AFL in 2016 and continued to play in the Adelaide Crows SANFL team, before joining the coaching panel in 2017. Nathan has been a Little Heroes Foundation supporter since 2010.
Son of Australian Cricket Coach, Darren
Lehmann, Jake made a name for himself in the cricketing world, after a
breakout season in 2015-16.
His trademark moustache and personality have
helped Jake quickly become a fan favourite at the Adelaide Strikers,
particularly after his matching winning efforts against the Hobart
Hurricanes in 2015 (Hitting 6 from his first bat, and last delivery of
the game, to seal the win). Jake joined Little Heroes Foundation as an
official ambassador at the end of 2016. However, this is not the first
time Little Heroes Foundation have been supported by the Lehmann family,
with his father Darren being a long-time supporter and friend of the
Tom Lynch currently plays for the Adelaide Football Club, after crossing the border from St Kilda at the end of the 2011 season. He has played over 90 AFL games, with more to come following a breakout season in 2013, which saw him play 17 games and kicking 33 goals. In the same year, he became only the third player (behind Scott Hodges and our very own Tony Modra) to score 10 or more goals in a game for Adelaide.
Off the field, Tom is a father of two, and understands the importance of the work we do at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Tom joins as the latest official Little Heroes Ambassador in 2017. We look forward to seeing Tom at our future events
Recognised as one of the most accomplished female jockeys of all time, Clare has claimed multiple South Australian jockey premierships, and more than 1200 career winners.
A trailblazer for females in the sport of competitive racing, Clare was the first Australian female to ever ride in the famed Melbourne Cup, where she rode ‘Debben’ for Leon McDonald in 2003. Clare has now ridden in the Melbourne Cup on three occasions, with a 5th place aboard ‘Dolphin Jo’ in 2007 being her best finish.
Clare is now established as one of the leading riders in South Australia and in season 2014/15 rode 97 winners to easily win her third metropolitan title. Currently she is running 2nd on the Premiership in season 2017.
“It’s great to be able to give back to a foundation that does so much for sick children and their families in SA.”
“Having seen some of the work they have done at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and through meeting the team, I am proud to be joining the Foundation as an ambassador, so that I can do my part to support these kids.”
After winning The Block Sky High 2013 twin sisters Alisa and Lysandra have stayed extremely busy! The girls quit the police force and later launched their new interior design business 'Alisa & Lysandra Collections'. Beyond their thriving careers, Alisa and Lysandra enjoy busy parenthood, with Alisa giving birth to her second child Dash in early 2016.
Alisa and Lysandra began supporting Little Heroes Foundation during their time on TV, and as official ambassadors, continue to raise awareness, attend our events and help us raise funds for seriously ill children.
ROSIE AND PAIGE
In 2016, we welcomed the entertaining duo from My Kitchen Rules Rosie and Paige as official Little Heroes Foundation ambassadors!
Mum-of-two Rosie and best friend Paige showed off their skills in the kitchen, finishing in the Top 8 of the reality show My Kitchen Rules in 2016. Post MKR, the pair have been busy, with Paige opening a café in Yorketown called Klein’s Kitchen.
This entertaining pair is going to be an exciting and fun addition to our star-studded ambassador team and we can't wait for them to join us for our upcoming fundraising events!