The AOC welcomed the three-year extension of their partnership with the Queensland Government of Olympics Unleashed, bringing Olympians into Queensland classrooms across the state.
The extension was announced at Wellers Hill State School marking the 1,000th Olympics Unleashed school visit in Queensland, with dual Olympian Alyce Wood and newly announced Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission for Paris 2024 Anna Meares sharing their Olympic insight with 200 students.
Revealing lessons from their Olympic journey of how to set goals, work as a team and overcome challenges, Olympians and aspiring Olympians have connected stories face to face with more than 150,000 young Queenslanders from Coolangatta to Torres Strait, Mt Isa to Mackay and everywhere in between across the 1,000 visits.
Queensland was the first state to receive the benefit of the Olympics Unleashed program, launching in 2018.
Delivered by the AOC in collaboration with the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS), Olympics Unleashed in Queensland is focused on years 4 to 6 and available to every primary school across the state.
AOC CEO Matt Carroll said today’s announcement continues this important educational program, ensuring the spirit of the Olympics and Olympians will continue to inspire young Queenslanders to be the very best they can be.
“Olympians have stories that go beyond sport – of how to find a passion, set goals and importantly how to build resilience to allow them to overcome the inevitable challenges they face in their Olympic journey” Mr Carroll said.
“These are key messages that teachers have told us are vital to young people, and resonate so strongly when they are delivered face to face by Olympians.
“This is an exciting time for the Olympic movement and we thank the Queensland Government and QAS for your continued support to bring Olympians into classrooms to inspire young Queenslanders to find and pursue their passion.
“As we move down the 10 year green and gold runway to Brisbane 2032, this program will continue to light a spark for students, and I’m sure plenty of those young people who see the power of the Olympic movement face to face will go on to be vital contributors to the success of the Games in ten years time.”
Queensland Sport Minister and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement, Stirling Hinchliffe said the new funding agreement would secure Olympics Unleashed until 2025.
“Olympics Unleashed has great potential to inspire young students to aim to become Queensland’s next generation of medal winners at a home Games in 2032,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We know not every young Queenslander will make an Olympic or Paralympic team, but the possibilities of Olympics Unleashed go beyond that.
“Olympics Unleashed and the stories of athletes who have made the journey are a powerful way of helping students build goals, resilience and confidence.
“Since launching, Olympics Unleashed has encouraged more young Queenslanders to embrace the Olympic spirit and its values.
“The true value of Olympics Unleashed is its ability to motivate students to make healthy choices and be their best in the classroom, playground and sport.
“Extending the Olympics Unleashed program to 2025 means reaching more schools and more young Queenslanders with podium potential.”
Dual Olympic kayaker Alyce Wood has connected with students across the state, with today’s visit at Weller Hills her 60th Olympics Unleashed school visit.
“I absolutely love visiting Queensland schools, seeing the impact my story has on the school kids is so motivating,” Wood said.
“With the title of ‘Olympian,’ I find some kids are nervous to talk to me or might think that what I have done in sport is unachievable for them – I certainly thought that when I was their age.
“What I love about this program is that the kids are able to connect with us and see that we’re all approachable and have had similar upbringings to them. It shows them anything is possible if you dare to dream.
“I pose the question ‘What does success look like‘ to the kids as I share my journey with them, to help think about what success looks like for them, whether it be in sport, school work, music, art or anything else.”
Thirty-year-old Wood is back on the water after having her first child Florence earlier this year, with husband and also Olympic paddler Jordan Wood, setting her sights on a third Olympics in Paris.
“Since getting back in the boat I’ve fallen in love with Kayaking all over again and am making sure I celebrate every small win and milestone on this journey. I think this whole experience really strengthens my message of defining what success looks like, as success to me looks completely different now to what it did pre Tokyo.”
Queensland Academy of Sport Chief Executive Chelsea Warr encouraged schools to be part of the program.
“Our athletes have inspirational and remarkable stories tell. So, let’s share them with as many young people as possible,” Ms Warr said.
“They’re providing real-world insight into what it takes to achieve your full potential in whatever you put your mind to.
“They’re showing how leading an active, healthy and ambitious life can set you up for success physically, mentally and socially.”