Home' SA 50s Lifestyle : SA 50s Winter 2013 Contents 12 Winter 2013
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Jenny Cheesman still fighting fit
Hot winter dinners are back
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
As a fresh-faced youngster
Jenny Cheesman excelled
at three different sporting
codes. At 55 she’s still
fighting fit, as Jacquie van
The smile is just as wide, and
her enthusiasm catching. Jenny
Cheesman still has the girlish charm
that captured a nation’s sporting
heart in the 70s and 80s.
Like many young South Australians,
Jenny juggled netball in winter
and softball in summer as a girl. It
wasn’t long before her talent in both
codes, however, was recognised.
Jenny reached State level in netball
and was selected to tour with the
Australian Schoolgirls netball team.
Meanwhile, her prowess at softball
was also being nurtured and at just
15 years old, she was selected to
represent Australia. The team went
on to win a Bronze medal at world
But another sporting code – and the
one for which she is probably best
known – was also calling.
“I first went out to play basketball
when I was 12,” Jenny recalls.
“I was reluctant to play at first,
because I didn’t know the rules, but
a friend encouraged me and I gave
it a shot.”
Jenny said she loved the game from
After rapidly working her way
through the ranks, Jenny made
national level – eventually playing
167 games for the Australian
women’s team between 1975 and
1988 – including two Olympic
games in 1984 and 1988. It was a
lifelong dream come true.
At the 1984 Olympics, she created
history when her and her then
husband, Phil Smyth, became the
first husband-and-wife to captain
Australian teams at the same
Impressively, Jenny remained captain
of the Australian women’s basketball
team from 1980 until the end of her
sporting career, at the age of 32.
Many may not realise, however, that
Jenny also had another passion –
After completing her teaching degree
as a young adult, Jenny taught for
two years at Marion High School
before heading overseas with a
friend to travel the world.
She then took a break from teaching
while she went back to basketball,
this time as assistant coach with
the Australian Institute of Sport
program. “It was a fantastic job, and
I absolutely loved it,” she said.
She eventually went part time at the
AIS and then had a break from work
while she had her children – Jacinta,
now 22; Brooke, 21 and Holly, 16.
In 1993 Jenny took on the role of
assistant coach of the Opals – a
position she held until 2000.
In 2002, Jenny went back to
teaching – first as a relief teacher
and on short term contracts, then on
to a fulltime position five years ago
at Westminster School in Marion.
Today, Jenny is head of Physical
Education at Westminster.
In 2006, Jenny was polled as the
8th greatest Australian female
basketball player and in 2004 she
was inducted into the Australian
Basketball Hall of Fame.
Jenny Cheesman stays in shape on the Westminster School oval.
After a sell out season in 2012, the
National Wine Centre is launching its
winter 2013 series of wine dinners.
The events feature a four-course
meal, each specially prepared to
match that courses’ wine flight from
the featured winery.
The National Wine Centre’s wine
dinners are synonymous with
fabulous food, fine wine, and both
an educational and entertainingly
anecdotal evening by the special
Guests will savour a selection of
ultra-premium, exclusive and back
vintage wines from the featured
wineries with each introduced by
the winemaker. Food is by multi-
award winning National Wine Centre
Executive Chef Philip Pope.
For bookings or enquiries call
8313 3355 or email
Wine dinner dates are:
Wednesday 26 June – Hentley Farm
of Barossa Valley – $120 pp.
Wednesday 17 July – Tyrell’s and
Hungerford Hill of Hunter Valley –
Wednesday 7 August – Turkey Flat of
Barossa Valley – $110 pp.
Wednesday 28 August – Jim Barry
Wines of Clare Valley – $110 pp.
Wednesday 25 September –
Tscharke of Barossa Valley –
Wednesday 16 October – Katnook
Estate of Coonawarra – $110 pp.
WIN, WIN, WIN We
have two tickets to give away
for the Tyrell’s and Hungerford
Hill of Hunter Valley evening,
on Wednesday 17 July. To be
in the draw to win, write your
name, address and contact
number on the back of an
envelope and send to “Wine
Dinner Competition”, PO Box
3497, Rundle Mall SA 5000.
Closes 1 July.
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