Commonwealth Games marathon runner Krishna Stanton is Raymont Residential College’s new live-in principal and has a pretty good idea what working towards a goal looks like.
“You need to be dedicated to do the work, determined to carry through with what’s been set for you, and I think an element of self-belief is also needed,” she says. “That’s important for my role at Raymont. I want students to believe in themselves.”
Krishna experienced many highs and lows on her way to earning a silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. She had more than her share of injury and illness but remained mentally strong, saying this was the most important thing.
Twenty years later she was still competing at an elite level, smashing the World Record in the 55-years category at the London Marathon last year.
She joins a stellar team at Brisbane’s Raymont College and says she is thrilled to be working with a talented staff.
Raymont Residential College is modern and affordable student accommodation, in which meals are provided, and it’s within a short distance of Brisbane’s leading tertiary institutions.
She has seen first-hand through her experience the transformation of students who arrive uncertain and shy and leave with a newfound confidence.
Krishna says if something is challenging it’s more worthwhile in the end – like leaving the family home and travelling to the city to study. She has first-hand knowledge of this because at 17 that’s exactly what she did, leaving her family home in the NSW country town of Leeton and moving to Canberra.
“I worked at the Commonwealth Bank for two years and ran when I could,” she says. “At about this time I won the national championships and was awarded a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport.”
It was here she also studied to become a teacher, a profession she would continue in for the next 25 years. For the past five years, Krishna has lived in at two colleges attached to Queensland University. She has seen first-hand through her experience the transformation of students who arrive uncertain and shy and leave with a newfound confidence.
It’s understandable that parents whose children are moving away from home for the first time are a tad nervous. However, with Krishna’s appointment, the presence of a responsible and experienced adult is assured. She is Raymont’s first live-in principal for many years and says she is looking forward to being part of a community that lives and works together.
“The reassurance for parents is the fact I have been in the same position as their child,” she says. “This coupled with the resilience I developed through my lived experience.”
She was attracted to Raymont, which is owned by the Uniting Church Queensland, because it is a ‘dry campus’ (no alcohol), which differs from many other colleges.
“Hopefully, I am an example to others that hard work and determination can result in great opportunities and outcomes.” – Krishna Stanton
Krishna believes that sport is a metaphor for life. “It’s a cliche but you really do get out of it what you put into it,” she says. “Life is like that. It’s the same with a student’s studies. If they put in the effort, the results will come.
“What has driven me, in life as well as in running, has been to be the best I possibly could at whatever I had a go at. I don’t necessarily think I was the most talented, especially at a young age, but I have always been someone who’s willing to work really hard.”
Krishna spoke at the recent College Commencement Dinner and, at the time, felt strongly she had found her place at Raymont. “I spoke about resilience and wasn’t nervous,” she says. “I also remembered that as a 17-year-old I could never have imagined being a public speaker, or leading people as the principal of a residential college but hopefully, I am an example to others that hard work and determination can result in great opportunities and outcomes.”
So, can Raymont students expect to see their principal donning the joggers and heading off for a lazy 20k run?
“They can and there’s a few of them who are keen to join me in the Bridge to Brisbane Fun Run in October,” she says. “We’re going to try and make it a real community event, to walk or jog 5km or 10km. That sort of event motivates and inspires me, to know people are coming along for the ride to challenge themselves or try something they never thought they could do.”
First published on Eternity News.