Baker’s delights: Triathlons, charity and nursing

Renee Baker receives her City's Citizen of the Year award from Canning Deputy Mayor Lindsay Holland
Renee Baker receives her City's Citizen of the Year award from Canning Deputy Mayor Lindsay Holland

TO say Renée Baker is busy is an understatement.

The professional triathlete and part-time nurse fell in love with her sport ten years ago; enjoying the challenges of juggling training with her philanthropic work and her profession.

Every day there are at least two training sessions, morning and night, coupled with shift work as a theatre nurse.

“I guess you can just say I’m super organised,” Ms Baker said.

Three years ago, Ms Baker’s hard work paid off when she qualified for professional status in triathlons.

She gained sponsorship from Muscular Dystrophy WA and became ingrained in Liv Cycling– an initiative encouraging women in sport.

As recently as last week, Ms Baker came third in the National Standard Distance Triathlon Qualifying Race and last year ranked in the world top 40 triathletes.

“I just fell in love with triathlons,” Ms Baker said.

“For the past three years, representing MD and encouraging women and girls into sport and triathlons has become my passion.”

Away from the track, the Wilson athlethe is a committed nurse working in orthopaedics and travelling internationally in aid convoys to help people in developing nations.

“I have volunteered in Tanzania for six weeks, working with plastic surgeons to help people with clef palates and burns,” she said.

“That trip changed my life and I would love to go back, but I haven’t got the chance to yet.”

At the City of Canning’s Australia Day event, Ms Baker was recognised at the City’s Citizen of the Year for her efforts to expand the number of young women and girls who participate in triathlons.

“I was not expecting the award, I thought they had the wrong number when they called, Ms Baker said. “But it is a great recognition for something I am so passionate about and it is the icing on the cake.”