More than 24 000 New South Wales students have been inspired by Olympians as Olympics Unleashed, presented by Optus, notched its 200th visit in the state today.
Dual Olympian Water Polo player Aidan Roach shared his Olympic journey with 100 students at Gymea Technology High School in Sydney today, inspiring year nine students to find their passion and unleash their potential.
With Olympics Unleashed already reaching schools from Broken Hill to Bega and across Sydney, AOC CEO Matt Carroll said it showcased the positive impact Olympians can have in the community.
“Olympians achieve incredible feats in the sporting arena, but their ability to inspire and motivate young Australians with the story of their journey is even more powerful,” Carroll said.
“Olympics Unleashed brings students face to face with Olympians and aspiring Olympians to engage with and learn from them first-hand, that hard work, resilience and overcoming challenges is part of life if you want to achieve.
“Hearing directly from Olympians like Aidan is a powerful way to engage students about what you can achieve when you have a goal and work towards it."
Olympics Unleashed in New South Wales is a $1.4 million program in partnership with the New South Wales Government, AOC and Olympic Partner Optus.
“The AOC thanks the New South Wales Government and the New South Wales Institute of Sport for their ongoing support to help inspire young Australians with the spirit of the Olympics and our Olympic Partner Optus for investing in the program, to enhance the Unleashed experience.
Water polo player Aidan Roach is enjoying sharing his story with students while he’s aiming for his third Games in Tokyo, after competing at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
“Every athlete knows that finding success or following something you love is never a straight line,” Roach said.
“It’s been so rewarding to be able to share part of my story with students and help to encourage them to chase down something they love. To be able to connect with students about what they want to do, and how they can get there is pretty special.”
The 29-year-old completes school visits in between full-time training and university commitments.
“Every group of students offers up something different, and I love being able to chat with different schools as part of my week – it’s a good change up from training.
“You can find out so much about yourself when you don’t succeed. For young people to know that failure isn’t the end of a story, it’s part of the highs and lows you’ll come across for a goal that’s worth chasing, is what I want to leave students with.
Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee was proud of the NSW Government’s support of a program inspiring young people right across the State.
“New South Wales’ athletes are inspiring students from our cities to the regions, helping them to bring the best out of themselves, not just on the sporting field but in the classroom and at home,” said Mr Lee.
“Athletes’ stories of finding a passion, working with a team, setting goals and overcoming challenges resonate with students and give practical ways they can apply it to follow their own ambitions.
“I encourage all schools to register to be part of this great program and have an Olympian in your classroom.”
The program is free for schools and aimed at year 9 in New South Wales. Schools can find out more and register for the program now at www.olympicsunleashed.com.au, with visits continuing in 2020.
“We are delighted to see that the Olympics Unleashed program has reached its 200th visit in New South Wales,” Optus MD Marketing and Revenue Matt Williams said.
“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 the Olympics Unleashed program inspire the next generation and change the future they see.”