Penny Clarke

Since 1998 Penny has dedicated her life to running our family and raising our two beautiful children.  With Daniel having cerebral palsy his care has required Penny to provide a greater level of dedication and focus over and above what is required by any normal mother.

The story around what Penny and I went through to have children, and of course in Daniel’s case, how it resulted in the diagnosis of cerebral palsy is a different story.

On The Ice 1985 LtoR: Monica MacDonald, Rodney Clarke, Penny Clarke (nee Leedham), David Free
Penny and Leslie Boroczky, 1981 National Champions

Penny started figure skating at the age of 10 as a solo figure skater and then turned to ice dancing and by 19 was the 1981 Australian National Ice Dance Champion.

Penny and I have known each other since we were very young as we shared training times and, only occasionally, had the opportunity to have a dance with each other.  Although we never competed as a couple there was the odd occasion where we competed against each other (however we won’t go there !! – because she won!!)

Although she was successful at skating Penny also loved the sport of swimming.  After many years of skating she turned her hand towards swimming and worked with the Forbes Carlisle Swim School at Ryde.  Here she taught babies right through to adults how to swim.  Throughout this time she co-managed her parents retail business in the food industry as well.

She returned to her love of skating in 1988 and turned professional teaching skating to all ages.  Her greatest success as a coach was to get the Macquarie Ice Rink Precision Team to state level competition and to continue coaching six days a week for twelve years.

Throughout her entire professional career one thing is consistent, a love of helping people to achieve their goals and, with immense patience, nurturing the dreams of others.

Rodney and Penny, 1992 Macquarie Ice Rink Christmas Ice Show

In 1990 we were married and although Penny was contracted a rare form of cancer in 1993 she continued to keep a positive outlook and continued to teach skating throughout her treatment.  While she is now cured of the cancer (not in remission) the amazing story of her ordeal can be found here.

Although, surrounded by trauma, Daniel was born in 1996 and William, against all odds, had a perfect birth in 1998.

Penny is now a full time mother and works harder than any of us…