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Four-Time Olympian Dani Stevens Finishes Practicum at Waverley

Dani Stevens PDHPE Practicum

Dani Stevens during her PDHPE practicum, focusing on ‘Understanding Diverse Learners’, with a particular focus on their complex abilities and interests.

Waverley has been thrilled to have former Olympian and Preservice Teacher Ms Dani Stevens in our energetic PDHPE department for her Master of Secondary Teaching practicum (Griffith University).

Dani was an elite discus thrower for 20 years, a four-time Olympian (2008, 2021, 2016, 2020), World Champion and minor medallist (2009, 2017), 2 x Commonwealth Games Champion (2014, 2018), World Uni Champion and minor medallist, Oceania and Australian Record Holder, and 17 x Australian Champion. Wow!

Starting her career aged five at Little Athletics ‘Tiny Tots’ in Sydney’s west, she became the youngest-ever discus world champion when winning gold at the 2009 world titles in Berlin, aged 21.

Dani Stevens, courtesy Athletics Australia

Dani Stevens in 2018, courtesy Athletics Australia

Check out her personal bests:

  • Discus 69.64m in London (2017)
  • Shot put 17.05m in Sydney (2014).

Dani co-captained the Australian Athletics team at her fourth and final Olympics, after bravely overcoming spinal surgery and 14 months’ rehabilitation. Inspiring a generation of athletes, she retired from professional sport in 2021.

Nurrunga asked Dani what made her decide to choose teaching as her second career:

“I always knew in the back of my mind I would become a teacher in my post-Athletics career. So many of my family and friends are teachers, and I had a lot of positive role models in my life who were teachers when I was growing up. In the last few years of my competitive career, I realised all the areas I had a passion for, and enjoyed sharing knowledge – such as sport, coaching, nutrition, health, and wellbeing – was a perfect fit for teaching Physical Education.”

We’ve been very lucky to have Dani at Waverley. During her practicum, she focused on ‘Understanding Diverse Learners’, with a particular focus on their complex abilities and interests. While she was here, her university expected her to consider the influence of the social context on students’ lives and learning.

Waverley wishes you all the best with your continuing studies, Dani!

Dani Stevens at 2022 PDHPE Practicum