Barnaby French completed the Port Macquarie Ironman!
Monday, May 04, 2015

Barnaby French completed the Port Macquarie Ironman!

Former AFL player aiming to raise funds to support Ladder

A big congratulations to Barnaby French on completing the Port Macquarie Ironman in 11:05:54.  You can still support him by making a donation

Former Port Adelaide and Carlton star Barnaby French has followed in the footsteps of Ladder CEO Mark Bolton who recently successfully completed the gruelling Melbourne Ironman challenge.  Barnaby has been in full training for many months now preparing to take on the 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run that is the 2015 Port Macquarie Ironman and he’s hoping to raise funds and awareness for Ladder along the way. 


The former Pembroke student grew up in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia and was a gifted sportsman from a young age. A champion junior rower, Barnaby was a member of the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) and competed in the World Rowing Championships as a member of the under 18 and 23 teams. 


After rowing, Barnaby played local football for Ironbank in the Adelaide Regional Hills Football League from 1996 to 1997. Despite having relatively little junior experience as a footballer he won the club best and fairest both years, and was impressive enough to be drafted by Port Adelaide Football Club as a rookie at the 1997 AFL Draft. 


Port Adelaide elevated the 200cm, 102kg ruckman to its senior list in 1999 and he made his AFL debut as a 23-year-old, playing 62 games and kicking 20 goals for the club. 


At the end of the
 2002 AFL season, Barnaby was traded to the Carlton Football Club in exchange for a second-round draft selection (#16 overall). There, he took the position of number one ruckman and proved weekly to be one of Carlton's most important players. Barnaby spent four seasons at Carlton and announced his retirement at three quarter time of the Blues' Round 22, 2006 match against the Sydney Swans. 


Barnaby is currently employed by the Metropolitan Fire Service in Port Pirie and resides in Goolwa, South Australia with his wife Jane and kids Evie and Hamish.


A chance meeting with Ladder Community Engagement Coordinator Andrew Crowell in Melbourne sparked Barnaby’s interest in Ladder and is now joining the program as a mentor for a young person based at Ladder St Vincent Street in Adelaide.


“I met Crowelly in Melbourne at an AFL Players’ Association program and was immediately interesting in learning more about the AFL players’ charity Ladder. I was really impressed with the program and the fact that past and present players were getting involved on an operational level and actually helping the young people involved in the program. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have grown up with great support from family and friends which has allowed me to make the most of the opportunities I have been given. I’m passionate about working with people and assisting those in need, and being a Ladder Mentor allows me to give back and help someone who hasn’t had the same support and opportunities as I have” 


Barnaby has been in training for the Port Macquarie Ironman Challenge which was held on the 3rd of May and was nervous but excited about the challenge ahead. “It’s a massive challenge but something I am looking forward to. I’ve always been an active person and enjoy keeping fit but since I’ve retired from AFL football keeping fit is much more challenging. Signing up for Ironman has given me a goal to work towards and I know that if I don’t get out of bed and put in the hard work I won’t succeed”. 


Ladder is extremely fortunate to have someone of Barnaby’s character on board as a mentor and congratulate him on completing the 2015 Port Macquarie Ironman.



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