Olympics Unleashed presented by Optus celebrated its 100th school in New South Wales, as Olympic champion Suzy Balogh inspired 100 students at Richmond High School.
As Australia’s first ever female shooting Olympic gold medallist, being a straight shooter comes with the territory. And with a career spanning the highest of highs to some big challenges, Suzy’s sharing her Olympic journey to inspire students to find their passion and overcome challenges to chase it.
“Unleashed is fantastic, it’s really powerful to be able to connect with students at a time in their life when they’re starting to think about their future and where they want to go,” Balogh said. “To help plant that seed to find something you’re passionate about and follow it is really inspiring.”
“I’ve had some very high highs in my career but also had to overcome a lot of challenges, and that can ring true for students no matter what their interests are. Whether it’s the stress of exams, performing under pressure, or following a love of music, mathematics or carpentry, it’s great to be able to connect with students about what it takes to follow your passion and get back up after failures.
“A student at Richmond wanted to know how to handle stress – whether it’s in exams or on the sporting field. In my Olympic final my knees were knocking, palms were shaking, but you have to just embrace it. I can honestly tell the students that if you embrace it, it can make you superhuman - increases your reaction time, makes you see things more clearly and heightens every sense in your body.
“It’s important to also put things in perspective and celebrate little wins. You can have big moments or big challenges, so celebrate the achievements in between the extremes to keep you going.”
The program is rolling out right across New South Wales, Queensland and ACT, with Suzy already having visited schools as far Afield as Broken Hill, Orange and Armidale.
“Whether it’s the middle of Sydney or Menindee, the message of finding what you love and learning how to go after it resonates the same. It’s fantastic that Optus and the NSW Government have got on board to support a program that can help students right across the state in a really important time in their lives.”
Katherine Jones, Head Teacher Welfare at Richmond High School was thrilled at the reaction of her students to Suzy’s Unleashed visit.
“Our students loved hearing Suzy's story,” she said. “They were captivated and engaged listening to her talk about her career and how she rose to the top. The messages of goal setting, challenges and resilience are so important for students to hear.”
Olympics Unleashed is available in NSW, Queensland and ACT. You can find out more and register your school today here.