My Place

Saffron Canny-Smith. (Ljubica Vrankovic)_405719_05

Athlete and student Saffron Canny-Smith tells Jennifer Pittorino about her career so far and her need for a sponsor.

Can you tell us your name and job title?

My name is Saffron Canny-Smith and I’m currently studying a masters of dietetics full-time and training as an elite athlete for speed skating.

Tell us a bit about you and your sporting career?

I am a long track speed skater, which involves racing on a 400m ice track. I completed my first season in this sport this past summer in the Netherlands. Prior to that, I was only training in short track speed skating, which involves a 111m ice track. I race all distances in long track speed skating but primarily specialise in the middle distances, 1000m and 1500m.

Tell us about your most recent competitions and why you need sponsors?

My most recent competition was the FISU World University Championships for speed skating held in Hamar, Norway. I represented Victoria University and Australia in this competition and competed in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and mass start races. It was an incredible opportunity and really helped to develop my international racing experience.

Due to all my competitions being held overseas, as well as the only quality training and 400m race tracks being offered overseas, it is a very expensive endeavour for me to train and compete in speed skating. Thus, I am looking for support from local businesses in the form of sponsorship.

Tell us your favourite thing about your sporting career and why you hope to continue.

It is hard to choose just one thing that I love about my sporting career, but if I had to choose, I would say the challenge. I love being able to push both my body and mind to the limits to see what I can achieve. I want to keep pursuing speed skating to see just how far I can get and all that I can achieve.

Tell us about what a sponsor would need to do for you.

A sponsor would enable me to continue training and competing at a high level. A sponsor would help to provide me with financial support and aid in covering my sporting expenses. In return, I would be promoting them through social media channels and providing room for their logo to be featured on racing suits and more.

What’s your connection to Maribyrnong or Hobsons Bay?

I have grown up and lived my entire life within the Maribyrnong area. I also currently study full-time at Victoria University.

What do you like about where you live?

I love the community here. I have always felt so welcomed into the community and supported. I love being able to walk around my neighbourhood and bump into friends and people I know, whether it be the local cafe owner or an old primary school peer.

Where is your favourite local place to spend time?

I love cycling along the waterfront as part of my training. Cycling along the Maribyrnong River and then along past Williamstown Beach and finishing at Altona Beach is one of my favourite training rides and a great way to see the west side. Of course, I always have to finish my ride with a coffee stop at a local cafe.

Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.

Because there are no 400m ice tracks in Australia, my training in Australia involves a lot of cross-training, so I spend a lot of time on the 111m ice tracks, road cycling, roller blading, and in the gym.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I would just like to say thank you to all of the local businesses in the inner west. Whether or not you realise it, you have contributed immensely to my upbringing and sporting career, from coffee stops at local cafe, to buying my first pair of runners from a local running store, to bumping into a local photographer whilst on the train to university. Thank you.