Sandra Morgan Beavis
Sandra Morgan Beavis is the Youngest Australian to win a Gold Medal at age just 14 years and six months. Sandra swam in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics with Dawn Fraser, Faith Leech and Lorraine Crapp where they won gold and broke the World and Olympic records for this event. She came sixth in the Final women’s 400 metre freestyle after winning the heat in Olympic record time. She has also won a Gold medal in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff; World & Commonwealth Games record in 1960; Silver at the Rome Olympics in the 4 x 100 Women’s relay. Sandra’s career highlights include:
Australian Champion 5 Gold medals 1957
- 1958 - 4 x 110 yds freestyle relay (4.18.9 sec March 3)
- 1958 - 4 x 110 yds freestyle relay (4.17.4 sec July 19)
- 1958 - 800 m freestyle
- 1956 - 4 x 100m freestyle relay (4.17.1 sec December 6)
- 1958 French Championships - 3rd 400m
- 1958 Dutch Championships - 3rd 400m
In 1995 Sandra was honoured by the NSW Government in the Hall of Champions at the State Sports Centre, Homebush Bay and was presented as an Olympic Champion - Pathway of Champions at the Olympic Aquatic Centre, Homebush Bay.
A personal highlight for Sandra was her involvement in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch relay running through Shellharbour. In December of that year she was also twice awarded the Australian Sports Medal from the Australian government for services to the Sydney Olympics & Sporting Achievements. In December 2003 the relay team was included in the Australian Hall of Fame for that event which hasn’t been won since 1956.
In June 2004 Sandra was given the honour & was chosen to run with Athens Olympic Torch in the leg from North Sydney Pool where she had competed many times in her career & been part of world record breaks.
Sandra ran a swim school at Bonnet Bay for 15 years; taught Scripture in local schools & has worked at the Bates Drive Special School. She received a government grant to teach pre-school handicapped children swimming. She has been involved in Christian, Olympic & Education programs for Schools & Churches and fund raising for the Australian Olympic Committee. She is proficient as a guest Speaker.
In November 2006 the 50th year anniversary of Melbourne Olympics took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and many former Gold Medallists & other Olympians both Australian and overseas gathered to celebrate. Sandra was the youngest athlete amongst many famous sporting people.
Sandra was born in Tamworth NSW, lived and trained in Bankstown under coach Frank Guthrie and later Don Talbot. After marrying in 1965 she lived in rural NSW, Griffith and Orange for 6years and now resides at Bonnet Bay in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire. She has active life, still in the pool & has 3 grown daughters & husbands & 11 grandchildren,
From January 1996 to mid-1999 she lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where her husband was on expatriate assignment for his employer, Westfield. During that time Sandra taught English as a second language to Japanese & other International women in that community using the Bible as a tool.
Sandra continues now to have a caring ministry to many women as a Prayer Counselling Minister, & enjoys speaking & encouraging women at conferences sharing her life as an Olympic athlete and as a committed Christian.
Currently Sandra is used as an assistant to a physiotherapist in the St George Hospital Hydrotherapy pool. She enjoys being back in an active role in the Water.
Sandra has been used as an Australia Day Ambassador for the past 12 years