Interpretive signage honouring former world champion race walker Kerry Saxby-Junna was unveiled on January 15, 2021, near the Ballina War Memorial Pool,
Interpretive signage honouring former world champion race walker Kerry Saxby-Junna was unveiled on January 15, 2021, near the Ballina War Memorial Pool,

Tribute to local world champion unveiled

Interpretive signage honouring former world champion race walker Kerry Saxby-Junna was unveiled in Ballina on Friday.

The signage, located near the Ballina War Memorial Pool, forms part of the Kerry Saxby Walkway.

The walkway starts at the River Street entry to Captain Cook Park (adjacent to Ballina RSL) and continues to the end of North Wall.

The walkway is approximately 4.5km long, just shy of the 5km Kerry excelled at.

Ms Saxby-Junna held the 5km race walking world record for almost two decades, setting a staggering speed of 20 minutes and three seconds in 1996.

The new signage is over two metres high and features striking aluminium panels listing Kerry's key achievements and a podium made from sandstone.

Ballina Shire Council Mayor David Wright said the signage aimed to inspire our community and visitors.

"It acknowledges Kerry's outstanding contribution to international athletics and her important

connection to Ballina," said Cr Wright.

Born in Young, NSW, Kerry moved to Ballina with her family in her early teens.

She joined the Ballina Athletics Club and excelled at swimming and middle-distance running before switching to race walking at age 21.

Kerry was at her peak in the late 1980s, winning five gold medals at international events after

debuting for Australia at the 1985 World Race Walking Cup in the UK. Her first international gold medal came at the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow.

"When Kerry retired from race walking in 2001 - after 18 years at the elite level - she had set a total of 32 world records and won 27 national titles," said Cr Wright.

"Her achievements have been off the track too, with Kerry awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1992."

"I encourage everyone to enjoy the Kerry Saxby Walkway and take the time to stop, read and

reflect when they see this sign - it's certain to inspire."