The 2018 Commonwealth Games are taking place on the Gold Coast, so while we cheer on our current sports stars we wanted to celebrate our own sporting legend in Baeden Choppy, one of Cleanaway’s Narangba-based side-lift drivers. Originally from Queensland, his extraordinary talent at hockey gained him a spot in the Australian national hockey team. By the age of 21, he had played a total of 41 international hockey matches for Australia.
In 1996, Baeden was instrumental in delivering the bronze medal for Australia at the Summer Olympics, by scoring a last-minute penalty corner against the German team. Further cementing his win, Baedan became the first male Indigenous athlete to represent Australia in hockey at the Olympics.
After this stunning victory, Baeden was selected as one of three Atlanta Olympians to vie for the 18th Men’s Hockey Champions trophy in Madras, India. He also received the National Sportsman of the Year award at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sports Awards.
The very next year, Australia defeated India for the gold medal in the 1997 Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup, with Baeden as vice-captain.
Apart from his work with Cleanaway, Baeden is still involved with hockey, both as player and coach. He is the assistant coach for the Kedron Wavell Services Hockey Club Division 1 team, and both plays and coaches in the Division 2 team. Baeden is also the assistant coach for the Queensland Blades Hockey League team, and several junior representative and state league teams.
Baeden is regarded by hockey experts and renowned coaches as a natural talent, and one of the greatest strikers the hockey world has ever seen.
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