Robert de Castella (NSW)

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About Robert de Castella (NSW)

Robert de Castella is Australias greatest ever marathon runner. He set the world record in 1981, became Australia’s first Track and Field World Champion in 1983, won two Commonwealth Games marathons in 1982 and 1986 and dominated the event worldwide for most of the 1980s. While he represented Australia at four Olympic Games, finishing 5th, 8th, 10th and 26th, Robert is probably best remembered for the Brisbane Commonwealth Games when he came from over a minute back to catch, duel and eventually run away from Tanzanian champion JumaIkanga.

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Roberts dominance resulted in him being voted World Best Marathoner of the 1980s decade. In 1983, he was voted Australian of the Year and honoured with an MBE. In 1986 he was inducted into the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame and in 1990 he was named World Marathon Runner of the Decade by Track and Field News. As Director of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for five years in the early 1990s, Robert repositioned the AIS as a centre of excellence after the drugs in sport debacle of the late 80s. He was also involved in establishing the elite sports system being used today by our Olympic athletes and teams.

In January 2003, having lost his family home and belongings in the infamous Canberra bushfires, Robert became heavily involved in the Governments recovery programs, working with Sandy Hollway and the ACT Task Force to plan and implement the process of healing and rebuilding. He worked with the ACT Government to design and build a purpose built 2.5 kilometre grass cross country running circuit on the slopes of Mount Stromlo now named, the de Castella Cross Country Circuit. Robert was acknowledged as a pillar of strength for his family and the community.

In 2005, Rob launched a new gourmet bakery and cafe, Deeks, a health-focused bakery that specialises in quality grain and gluten free breads, cakes, pasta, pies and deserts. Along with his bakeries, he has a rapidly growing wholesale business.

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