Olympians will come face to face with more than 40 000 students across South Australia, as the AOC announced the extension of Olympics Unleashed, presented by Optus, in Adelaide today.
Olympics Unleashed will take athletes into primary schools to share their Olympic journey and how it can help students find their passion, set goals and build resilience to overcome challenges.
Cycling legend Anna Meares and Rio 2016 swimmer Travis Mahoney joined Education Minister John Gardner and AOC CEO Matt Carroll to announce the program at Prospect Primary School.
AOC CEO Matt Carroll said Olympians will help inspire young people to be their best in the classroom, on the sporting field, and in their personal lives.
“Olympians have inspiring stories that go beyond sport,” Mr 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.”
More than 50 South Australian based Olympians and Tokyo 2020 hopefuls will be trained to deliver Olympics Unleashed, with first visits rolling out in Term 1 2020.
The program extension is an AOC initiative in partnership with the South Australian Government and presenting partner Optus.
“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.
“We thank Minister Gardener, the South Australian Government, and Optus for their initiative and support in delivering Olympics Unleashed.”
Olympics Unleashed is free for schools, with the 45-minute presentations aimed at years 4-6 across South Australia. Schools can find out more and register today here.
Four time Olympian and Rio 2016 flagbearer Anna Meares knows the impact athletes can have on the next generation.
“Sport is such a great vehicle to engage with young people in really foundational areas,” Ms Meares said.
“Athletes know that failure is an important part of succeeding. You don’t always win, and you have to learn how to be successful, which can only come from trying new things. The only way you give yourself a chance is by trying.
“Taking athletes out of the TV and putting them in front of students is huge – it shows they’re a real person, talking face to face with young people to really engage on that personal level.
“I remember seeing Olympians on TV when I was younger and just being in awe. I grew up in a remote area and didn’t have any athletes come to our community, but knowing this program is going to remote and regional schools is fantastic.”
Education Minister John Gardner hopes the program can inspire students to find their passion in life, as well as enhance their understanding of the importance of resilience and hard work in helping people achieve their goals.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the Australian Olympic Committee to enable more schools across the state to take advantage of the Olympics Unleashed program, connecting students with these inspiring role models,” said Minister Gardner.
“The messages of goal setting, resilience and self-awareness translate to learning, engagement and achievement for our students and go beyond just sporting excellence.
“We expect hearing from aspiring and experienced Olympians will inspire more of our students to find their passion and stick with it.”
Australian Olympic Team Partner Optus are helping deliver the program around the country.
“We are delighted to see the Olympics Unleashed program extend to South Australia, as it is imperative these types of role models are visible to Australian school kids,” Optus Managing Director Marketing and Revenue Matt Williams said.
“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 the Olympics Unleashed inspire the next generation and change the future they see.”