Lausanne, Switzerland, February 16, 2018 – Louise Bawden is set to retire from beach volleyball at the age of 36 following a career that featured three Olympic Games and four FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
The Australian’s career lasted over 20 years and began when she moved from her hometown of Melbourne to Canberra to join the Australian volleyball program aged 17.
Two years on she appeared at her first Olympics when she was part of the Australia volleyball squad at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
“After more than 20 years in volleyball it is with more than a touch of sadness that I share my decision to retire from international competition,” Bawden said.
“I have been extremely blessed that my involvement in both indoor and beach volleyball has led me to three Olympic Games, multiple World and Asian Championship tournaments and countless tours across the globe.”
In 2009 Bawden switched to beach volleyball, and featured at the London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, firstly with Becchara Palmer and then with Taliqua Clancy. She and Clancy reached the Rio 2016 quarterfinals, a year after they reached the same stage at the Netherlands 2015 World Championships.
Bawden and Clancy won the 2014, 2015 and 2017 Asian Championships, and they enjoyed their best World Tour finish together when they won bronze at the 2015 Porec 5-Star tournament. Bawden also won bronze with Nicole Laird at the 2017 Sydney 2-Star event.
“While my career was not defined by the elusive gold medal, I am extremely proud of the progress I made as an athlete, the standards I held myself to, my commitment to learn and the reputation I built internationally as a hard worker and a fighter on the court,” Bawden said.
“I was blessed to represent Australia on more occasions than I can count, and I did so to the very best of my ability. I will forever be grateful for the experiences and memories made.
“I am so fortunate to have crossed paths with so many wonderful volleyball players (both male and female!). Thank you all for caring for me as a player and as a person, I deeply appreciate the impact you have had on my life. It made the ride all the more worthwhile.
“It has been a journey of joy and passion, immense challenge and growth. In this sport I have lived a life of great interest and diversity, where I have relished the opportunity to travel, meet new people and enjoy cultural experiences I would never have dreamed of. I have pushed my body and mind to new limits and I am so grateful for the empowerment and confidence that provides me with as I move forward in life.
“Thank you, to every supporter, every competitor, every contributor. I hope you find what I have found. That it is all worthwhile.”