19/04/2024

Nina Kennedy and Natalie Burton with students at Ashburton Drive Primary School (Supplied/Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images for the Australian Olympic Committee)

Olympics Unleashed, a program delivered to school students by Olympians, was officially launched in Western Australia on Friday.

Olympics Unleashed, a program designed to motivate and give students access to Australian Olympians, was officially launched in Western Australia on Friday.

On Friday, students at Ashburton Primary met three Australian Olympic representatives – pole vaulter Nina Kennedy, basketballer Natalie Burton and former Olympic basketballer Andrew Vlahov.

WA became the fifth Australian state/territory to deliver the program to its schools, with New South Wales, the ACT, South Australia and Queensland doing so since 2018, both online and in person.

Since 2018, over 180 thousand students across 1916 schools have taken part in lessons from 226 different athletes about resilience, goal setting and building self confidence. Through athletes sharing their experiences and their journey, students are motivated to reach their personal best – not just in the sporting arena.

Natalie Burton delivers Olympics Unleashed session to Ashburton Drive Primary School Students (Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images for the Australian Olympic Committee)

Burton presented Olympics Unleashed at Ashburton Primary School and spoke about the students’ reception of the program.

“Olympics Unleashed makes the Olympics feel more accessible for kids,” she said.

“It makes it more real and they learn that Olympians are no different to any of them.

“In delivering the session, I really want the children to walk away feeling they have the capability to be the best they can be, at whatever that might be.

“It’s awesome to finally have Olympics Unleashed in WA, all schools and children should have access to this program.

“It’s amazing to see the breadth of the state that will be covered in the first year.”

In Western Australia, 20 athletes will be trained to deliver Olympics Unleashed, the program run in collaboration with the WA Government. Personnel coordinating the program includes the Minister for Education, Sue Ellery, and the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Dr Tony Buti.

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Western Australian Institute of Sport CEO Steve Lawrence spoke about the program’s impact and the positive influence the athletes will have on students.

“We’re delighted to have Olympics Unleashed launch in Western Australia,” he said.

“Having athletes deliver sessions on goal setting and resilience, and share their journey in and out of sport will be a source of inspiration for the next generation.

“I’m sure students will be able to relate to their experiences and as they embark on their own journey, realise if they work hard their goals are attainable.”

CEO of the Australian Olympic Committee, Mr Matt Carroll, discussed the program’s benefits and its desired outcomes.

“Bringing an Olympian into the classroom, giving the students the opportunity to interact with them and understand who they are, that they’re just like them, makes the Olympic dream feel attainable,” he said.

“This is a truly motivating and powerful experience for students. The stories of our athletes are a real inspiration and they can help students to create real change in their lives enabling them to follow their passion.

“Our athletes illustrate how failure is one of life’s greatest teachers and the path to success is never quick nor easy.“

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