Rebecca ‘Bec’ Henderson is an Olympian who was awarded a Tier 3 Scholarship within the 2022 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program, and is the first race walker to be included in the program.
Bec was born in Dandenong, Victoria in 2001 and her athletic career did not start well. She finished second last or last in most events at Berwick Little Athletics and only persisted so she could spend more time with her cousins. Then she discovered race walking. She won her first Little A’s race walk, and in 2021 was the youngest competitor in the 20km race walk at the Olympic Games.
Bec first represented Australia at the 2018 World Race Walking Championships at age 16. In the same year, she showed her versatility with participation in the World Triathlon Championships. In her junior years, Bec enjoyed success at 3km, 5km and 10km walks, and she was on track for more international success until the World Athletics U20 Championships were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Bec then completed her first 20km race walk at the Oceania Championships in 2021 and finished third to book a flight to Tokyo. She finished 38th in the stifling heat of Tokyo, in what was only the second 20km race walk of her life.
In between the long hours of endurance training, Bec became Dux of Berwick College and attained Scholars at Monash University. She plans to study medicine and to play an active role in helping young athletes to be the best they can be in sport and life.
“Becoming a Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder is so amazing as it will help give me the resources to continue to compete at an elite level, while keeping up with my studies and work. It will allow me to continue improving and moving up in the senior ranks, to hopefully become the best possible athlete and person I can be. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this awesome program and can’t wait for the season ahead!” – Bec Henderson on being selected as a 2022 Tier 3 Scholarship Holder.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2018: World Triathlon Championship – 16-19 category, competitor
- 2018: World Race Walking Teams Championships – U20, 16th
- 2020: World Under 20 Athletics Championships – Qualified (cancelled due to Covid19)
- 2021: Oceania 20km Race Walking Championships – 20km debut, 3rd
- 2021: Tokyo Olympic Games – youngest in the race, 38th