Retirement living and aged care provider Ryman Healthcare has named its retirement village in Aberfeldie, Victoria after Australian Olympian Raelene Boyle.

Ms Boyle is a retired sprinter who won three Olympic silver medals and seven Commonwealth Games gold medals. She was the first Australian female flagbearer at an Olympic Games.

The Raelene Boyle Retirement Village will include 64 independent apartments, 27 assisted living serviced apartments and a 74-bed aged care centre.

Once completed, it will be home to 180 residents and include a gym, bowling green, hair and beauty salon, cinema, bar, café and indoor swimming pool.

Ryman Healthcare said naming the village after Ms Boyle was a “homecoming of sorts” as Ms Boyle grew up in the nearby suburb of Coburg and used to run every Saturday at Aberfeldie Park.

Ryman Healthcare has been naming its villages after outstanding people for more than 30 years.

Sales and community relations manager Debra Richardson said the tradition aimed to i honour the contribution of that person and help preserve their legacy.

“But it’s also about creating a unique identity for that village. The village community becomes coloured by their character and imbued with the values that set that person apart,” Ms Richardson said.

Ryman Healthcare’s other operational villages are named after opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, surgeon Weary Dunlop, Royal Flying Doctor Service founder John Flynn,  Australian rules football administrator Charles Brownlow and Indigenous soprano, composer and educator Deborah Cheetham.

Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll praised Ryman Healthcare’s decision to name the village after Ms Boyle.

“It is so wonderful to see Ryman recognise her and her wonderful life as a trailblazer in women’s sport and an inspiring Australian,” Mr Carroll said.

More than 120 people attended the virtual unveiling of the new village name in September.

Main image: Raelene Boyle

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