Olympians prepare to celebrate Olympic Day

Published 23 June 2016 (AEDT)

Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse visit Roseville College © olympics.com.au

EDUCATION: Olympians around the country are preparing to visit primary and secondary schools on Thursday 23 June as part of International Olympic Day.

Around the country Olympians will be out in force, talking about their experience at the Olympic Games, participating in sports activities and highlighting the positive impact sport has had on their lives.

Olympic Day is an international community event that celebrates sport, education and culture and marks the birth date of the modern Games as founded by Pierre de Coubertin.

With the Rio 2016 Olympics looming, Chef de Mission, Kitty Chiller will get involved in the celebrations, visiting the Roseville College athletics carnival at Sydney Olympic Park.

“The next generation of Olympians are currently sitting in classrooms around Australia,” said Chiller.

“Most current athletes would even remember an Olympian coming and visiting their school, so this is a very important day in the Olympic calendar.

“It’s so great to see so many of our athletes, both current and retired, continuing to give themselves to the Olympic movement and inspire the next generation.”

Earlier in May, gold medallists and kayak paddlers, Jacob Clear and Ken Wallace attended Biggera Waters State Primary School in Queensland, sharing their experiences at the Games and giving students goal-setting tips.  

The pair were then joined in the celebrations by eleven athletes from eight sports who visited schools last week. A special thanks to the following athletes who took time to visit schools around Australia!

Karen Robertson (Hockey – 2004), Nicola Zagame (Water polo – 2012, 2016), Jake Packard (Swimming – 2016), Alyssa Bull (Canoe/Kayak – 2016), Alyce Burnett (Canoe/Kayak – 2016), James Willet (Shooting – 2016), Phoebe Stanley (Rowing – 2008), Robyn Selby-Smith (Rowing – 2012), Michelle Jenneke (Athletics – 2016) and Lyn McKenzie (Swimming – 1968 Mexico City).

The Australian Olympic Committee even had its first overseas school visit, as Beijing Silver medallist Glenn Ashby (Sailing) spoke to the students of Point Chevalier Primary School in New Zealand.

Glenn’s focused his talk on being involved in sport and the positives sport can bring, having an aspiration and bringing this to fruition as well as how it feels to represent your country.

Gold medallist and five-time Olympian and Natalie Cook will make a visit to Jindalee state school in Brisbane to celebrate the Olympic movement, which has been such a large part of her life. 

“It is wonderful to see so many of our Olympians, both young and old, take time out to visit schools and speak to the children about their Olympic experiences. To be able to connect with the next generation in such a personal and inspiring way will no doubt have a big impact on our athletes of the future.

“Olympic Day is an opportunity for the international sporting community to come together and celebrate all that is good about sport, the Olympic Movement and the important role both play in our society. It also provides Olympians with the perfect platform from which to engage with youth and promote the advantages of leading healthier, more active lives.”

Kicking off this Olympic week’s celebrations will be Equestrian riders and Rio hopefuls, Shane Rose (2008) and Stuart Tinney (2000, 2004) who will be sharing their Olympic journeys with 800 young riders at the NSW Interschools Championships at the International Equestrian Centre in Sydney

Another 20 athletes will return to their old Primary Schools, or their local High Schools to continue to spread the Olympic movement.

Full details of specific visits can be found at the AOC's dedicated education website. Australian teachers can also download the Olympic Day guide, to help bring the Games to their schools and plan their very own event.

Hundreds of thousands of people – young and old – participate in sports activities, such as runs, exhibitions, music and educational seminars around the world on Olympic Day. 

Over the last two decades, the event has helped to spread the Olympic ideals to every corner of the world and Australia has continued to do this as the Rio Olympics approach.

For more information and details please contact AOC Education Manager, Ashleigh Knight on 02 8436 2144 or at Ashleigh.knight@olympics.com.au

Ashleigh Knight

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