Sarah Stevenson MBE Joins the Dons
Doncaster Rugby League Club is thrilled to announce that Doncaster Olympian Sarah Stevenson MBE has accepted the club’s offer of becoming its first ever Sports Ambassador.
The most successful Taekwondo athlete in the history of the sport attended the Don Valley High School in Scawthorpe and started training in the sport of Taekwondo at the age of 10.
Sarah, who turns 30 next year, went on to compete in four Olympics, including this year’s London games, and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours List for her tremendous service and dedication to martial arts.
Her glittering and efficacious Taekwondo career began with gold at the Junior World Championship in 1998 which was quickly followed by more success with victory in the Junior European Championship in 1999.
Sarah then qualified in third position at the 2000 Summer Olympics Qualification Tournament, and drew the attention of Hollywood martial arts star Jackie Chan who sponsored her while promoting his film Shanghai Noon in the UK.
The inspirational Bentley born athlete finished fourth on her Olympics debut in 2000 and won a bronze medal at Beijing in 2008 and became the first British medallist at the Olympics in this sport.
Sarah’s most recent success came in May 2011 by becoming the World Champion for the third time and has recently set up the ‘Sarah Stevenson Inspires’ project which aims to educate and train young, aspiring Taekwondo athletes.
Sarah's battle to overcome injury and the tragic loss of both her parents in the last year has won her many fans outside of Taekwondo and the respect of fellow Team GB athletes who selected her to read the Athletes' Oath at the London games opening ceremony this summer.
Coached by her husband Steve Jennings, Sarah’s first association with the Dons came in August this year when she attended the Keepmoat Stadium as the club’s guest of honour for the league game against North Wales Crusaders and quickly became an admirer of the game.
Sarah commented: “I’ve had a lot of good things happen to me in my career, such as being awarded a MBE and winning my titles, but I feel very proud to become the Dons first ever sports ambassador.
“The title makes it even more special with it being a club from my hometown of Doncaster and it’s a lovely honour to add to my collection.
“I attended my first game of rugby league just a couple of months at the Keepmoat Stadium and I really enjoyed the day. I hope to be at home in Doncaster more next year and am planning to watch more games.
“I want to be a fan of the club as well as an ambassador and can’t wait to get behind the team to cheer them on to more glory.”
Dons' chief executive Carl Hall said: "I would like to thank the pride of Doncaster Sarah Stevenson for accepting our offer and we’re over the moon to have her name associated with the club.
“Sarah is a top Olympic athlete and a true champion in her discipline so it’s a tremendous achievement for the Dons to have her on board as our first Sports Ambassador.
“We have a few local community events coming up in the near future and we’re hoping Sarah will be able to lend her support to these.
“This is the icing on the cake for the Dons after enjoying our most successful season in our 61 year history and we can’t wait to start working with our very own Doncaster superstar.”
Sarah’s Major Honours and Awards
1998 - Junior World Champion
1999 - Junior European Champion
2000 - Sydney Olympian 4th Place
2001 - Senior World Champion
2002 - Senior European Silver Medallist
2004 - Senior European Silver Medallist
2004 - Athens Olympian
2005 - Senior World Silver Medallist
2005 - Senior European Champion
2006 - Senior European Champion
2006 - Senior Commonwealth Champion
2008 - Senior Olympian Bronze Medallist
2009 - British Open Champion
2010 - Senior European Champion
2011 - World Champion
2012 - London Olympian
2006 - Commonwealth Best Fighter of the Tournament
2006 - Taekwondo Athlete of the Year
2008 - Taekwondo Athlete of the Year
2012 - Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)