From the ALPG (Australian Ladies Professional Golf)
Aussie golfing great and ALPG Life Member Jan Stephenson has been in unfamiliar territory in recent weeks, donning high heels for a long and rigorous practice schedule in preparation for the 2011 Dancing with the Stars.
A winner of 16 LPGA Tour titles, including three majors, Stephenson has been in serious training for the past six weeks as she prepares for one of the greatest challenges of her life when she lines up as one of eleven stars in the news series of the dance show. Her dance partner is model, dancer and choreographer, Mark Hodge.
“It has been a gruelling experience” Stephenson said this morning, from her practice studio on the Gold Coast. “You would have thought that having lived in golf shoes most of my life, my feet would not blister. Well, I can tell you the balls of my feet are covered in blisters and as fit as I am, my legs and feet are killing me! This is really hard work but I am enjoying the challenge and despite being a little nervous, I am looking forward to Sunday night. I am still a very competitive person.”
Stephenson is the first golfer to appear in any of the BBC’s international Dancing with the Stars franchises and will compete against other celebrities including World Champion surfer Mark Occhilupo; former Australian Idol winner, Damien Leith; model, Lara Bingle and newsreader Samantha Armytage.
Stephenson says she is spurred on by suggestions that she will be out of her league against the younger competitors, saying, “Most of the other competitors are in their 20’s so people think I have no chance. I’d like to think my age and competitive experience will work in my favour. I am a fitness freak and still work out every day so that side of it will not be an issue. This whole experience is very mentally challenging because you have to remember the steps and technique for three or four completely different dances. You really need to focus, and I am used to that.”
Warren Sevil, CEO of Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) says he hopes the golf industry will support Jan throughout the series, “This is a high rating show, which will showcase one of the greats of Australian golf. Jan put Australian women’s golf on the map a few decades ago and went on to become one of our best performed players, man or woman. I hope the Australian golf industry and golf fans in general will get behind Jan and lodge their votes to keep her in the show until the very end. In an indirect way, this is a promotion of Australian golf and a celebration of one of the true legends of the game. Anything that profiles Australian golf can only be good for the industry.”
Dancers will raise funds to support their favourite charity. Details of phone voting will be announced during the show this Sunday, 8 May. Fans will also be able vote online at
Topics: Stephenson, Jan