COVID-19 hasn’t stopped Olympians connecting with students for Reconciliation Week, with Indigenous Australian boxer Brad Hore sharing his experiences with students at Hymba Yumba Independent School with Olympics Unleashed, presented by Optus.
In line with social distancing guidelines, Hore connected by video call with the school, in Springfield, Queensland, that offers education grounded in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
He spoke to the 50 school students from Years 4-6 over video link and said that although it was different to presenting in person, it was about making the best of the current situation and still communicating those important messages to students.
“It was different not doing things face-to-face, but the kids really seemed to enjoy it,” Hore said.
“We got them up doing some activities like shadow boxing, but, more importantly, we spoke about the meaning of Reconciliation Week.
“I explained to the students that we need to recognise what Reconciliation Week means for us, and especially for our Elders,” he continued.
“We also talked about how important it is to stand up for what you believe in and share your culture with family, friends and especially those who aren’t Indigenous, to help them understand our culture a little bit more.”
Hore used his experience of losing his first ten fights to making the Olympic Games to share with students the importance of overcoming adversity and building resilience when things didn’t go your way.
Principal of Hymba Yumba, Peter Foster, said being able to connect with fellow Indigenous role models was important for the students.
“At Hymba Yumba Independent School we strive for our jarjums to see, learn about, yarn with and recognise strong, deadly Indigenous leaders within our community as well as the wider community,” he said.
“It is important for our jarjums to engage with strong Indigenous people who can share their story, including setbacks and how they overcame challenges, as this is a real-life example of resilience.”
Along with having Brad Hore speak, Hymba Yumba partook in other activities to ensure students understood the meaning of Reconciliation Week.
“We celebrated National Reconciliation Week with all-class learning about Sorry Day, Mabo Day, the “Bringing them Home’ Report and the 20th Anniversary of Walk for Reconciliation,” Foster said.
“As a cumulative activity, the whole school listened to stories about the Bridge Walk and marched across our bridge to the community oval with our signs and banners.”
Hore was encouraged to see future Indigenous leaders learning and participating in such an important week.
"I told the students I am very proud of my heritage and that they should be proud of where they are from, too," Hore said.
With Australians adapting to social distancing and changes in schools, Olympics Unleashed is now online and ready to connect Olympians and aspiring athletes to schools and students.
The full online program is expected to roll out in Queensland in Term 3, but you can register your school and find out more today at www.olympicsunleashed.com.au
Olympics Unleashed is free for schools and is supported by the Queensland Government, presenting partner Optus and the Australian Olympic Committee.