Olympic athlete Eloise Wellings is passionate about athletics and helping those in poverty.
After realising at the age of 15 that she wanted to make running her career, she committed to training and qualified for the Sydney Olympics at the age of 16 in the 5000m track event. Unfortunately soon after qualifying, Eloise suffered a stress fracture, which continued to plague her career for the following decade. She suffered 13 stress fractures in 11 years, and missed out on three Olympic campaigns due to injury despite being selected for the team, and measured for her uniform.
Her story of grit and determination is magnified by the fact that she met Ugandan Olympian and former-child soldier Julius Achon while recovering from a stress fracture before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Eloise was moved by his story of triumph over adversity, and while she didn’t recover in time for the Beijing Olympics, she felt that her troubles were put in perspective by Julius’ life.
She founded the Love Mercy Foundation in 2009 and has since impacted over 100,000 local Ugandans through health and agriculture programs. Eloise is committed to seeing change in Uganda and supporting Julius in his dreams to see his village prosper and overcome the effects of war and poverty.
She finally achieved her Olympic dream in London in 2012, and was the highest placing female Olympian in Australians history in the 10,000m event in Rio, finishing 9th. Eloise has competed in her fourth Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast this last April 2018.