Robert De Castella

Marathon Legend, SmartStart for Kids and the Indigenous Marathon Project

For over a decade Robert de Castella (or Deek) competed internationally in the marathon, setting world records and winning World Championships, Commonwealth Games and many other international races.

He was awarded an MBE and was Australian of the Year in 1983, and in 1991 his international peers in Track and Field acknowledged him as the World's Best Marathon Runner of the 1980 decade.

After retiring from competitive sport after his fourth Olympics in 1992, Robert de Castella took up the position of Director of the Australian Institute of Sport. He left after five years and established his own company SmartStart specialising in children's and corporate health and wellness. He is a major national figure campaigning for a greater preventative approach to health care, especially in regard to address.

He is Chairman of the Leisure Australia Foundation and LesiureCo, a Board member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame chairing their Selection Committee, and is an occasional sports media commentator.
In January 2003 Robert and his family were one of nearly 500 families that lost everything in the Canberra fires. He assisted in the community recovery process, serving on the Recovery Task Force and is still actively involved in the reestablishment of the Stromlo forest recreation park.

Robert de Castella is Patron of and volunteers his time to many other community organisations and events such as the National Heart Foundation, the ACT Olympians Club, Camp Quality, SIDS, Fred Hollow Foundation, and talks extensively to schools, children, and businesses.

Robert is still very active and fit, having received his black belt in traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu karate in 2004.

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