Olympians Unleashed to inspir... | Australian Olympic Committee

Olympians Unleashed to inspire ACT students

Author imageAOC16 Aug 2019
Marianna Tolo - Olympics Unleashed ACT - Getty Images

OLYMPICS UNLEASHED, PRESENTED by OPTUS: Olympians will inspire and motivate school students across the ACT as the Australian Olympic Committee announced the extension of its Olympics Unleashed program today in Canberra.

Olympics Unleashed will take athletes into schools to share their Olympic journey and how it can help students find their passion, set goals and build resilience to overcome challenges.

Canberra-based Olympians Marianna Tolo (Basketball) and Louise Dobson (Hockey) joined Minister Yvette Berry and AOC CEO Matt Carroll to announce the program at Braddon’s Ainslie School.

The $250 000 Olympics Unleashed program is an initiative of the AOC in partnership with the ACT Government and proudly presented by Optus. More than 30 athletes will deliver the program to every primary and secondary school in the ACT over the next year, with schools able to register today.

Marianna Tolo - Olympics Unleashed ACT - Getty Images

AOC CEO Matt Carroll said Olympians have unique experiences of hard work, overcoming challenges and goal setting that can connect with students.

“Olympians have inspiring stories that go beyond sport,” Carroll said. “They bring to life the importance of finding a passion, setting goals and building resilience to overcome challenges.

“An Olympic journey is never a straight line – having athletes sharing their stories, including the challenges and how they overcame them, is a vital lesson that can help young people no matter what their passion.

“Teachers have told us having an Olympian face to face in the classroom is a powerful way to engage students about what you can achieve when you have a goal and work towards it. This message can help young Australians be the best version of themselves – whether that’s in the classroom, the playground, the sporting field or at home.”

More than 30 Olympians and athletes aspiring for Tokyo 2020 and beyond will be trained to deliver the program across the ACT, with first visits commencing at the end of August 2019 and rolling out over the next 12 months.  

“The AOC is committed to use the spirit of the Olympics and Australian Olympians to inspire young people to be their best,” Mr Carroll said. “In the classroom, on the sporting field, and in their personal lives.”

“We thank the ACT Government, Minister Berry and the ACT Academy of Sport for their initiative and support in delivering Olympics Unleashed into ACT schools.”

Rio 2016 Olympian and reigning NBL champion with the Canberra Capitals, Marianna Tolo, is excited to be part of this program in the run up to Tokyo 2020.

“Olympics Unleashed is a great opportunity to give back to this community that has given me so much,” Tolo said. “I love the Canberra area so much, and it’s so good to have a chance to interact with students across the ACT and help inspire the next generation.”

Louise Dobson - Olympics Unleashed ACT - Getty Images

“I hope my story can show students that it doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is, if you keep turning up and working hard you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

“When I was a student Cathy Freeman visited our school – it was such a privilege and it stirred my love of the Olympics even more. The Olympic spirit is so powerful, there’s really nothing that can match it in Australian sport and to be able to spread that feeling and inspiration is awesome.”

Minister Berry, whose portfolio includes both Education and Sport and Recreation, helped launch the program.

“The ACT Government aims to provide opportunities for young Canberrans to grow from grassroots to elite sport if that’s their dreams,” Ms Berry said. 

“It’s so important for young people to have access to elite athletes and community role models through programs like Olympics Unleashed because you can’t be what you can’t see.

“The Olympics Unleashed will bring more than 30 Olympians and athletes aspiring for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics into 135 primary and secondary schools over the next 12 months to share their stories and life lessons.”

Olympics Unleashed is free for schools, and the 45-minute presentations are aimed at years 4-6 in primary and year 9 in secondary. Visits will begin in late August, with schools able to register for the program from today.

Optus, the presenting sponsor of Olympics Unleashed, is delighted to see the expansion of the program.

“There is no doubt we are looking forward to seeing our Australian athletes compete on the world stage at Tokyo 2020, but we’re equally as excited to see Olympics Unleashed inspire the next generation and change the future they see,” Optus MD Marketing and Revenue Matt Williams said.

Schools can register now