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WA students awarded for exemplifying Olympic values

6 September 2018

EDUCATION: The AOC have honoured 43 Western Australian secondary school students with the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin Award.

The Award was named after the founder of the Modern Olympic Games and recognises students for their outstanding sportsmanship and overall dedication to pursuing excellence - exemplifying the Olympic values.

Students and their families attended the State Presentation Ceremony held in Perth over the weekend, with students being invited to an Olympic Academy Day held prior, which provided them with a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn about leadership, goal setting and resilience from some of WA’s Olympic heroes.

Olympians Jesse Phillips (Sprint Kayak); Tamsin Cook (Swimming); Danielle Kettlewell (Synchronised Swimming) and Rhys Grant (Rowing) shared their own Olympic journeys with the students, who also learnt about the Olympic movement and toured the Western Australian Institute of Sports high-performance facility.

Emcee, Phillips, who has attended multiple Pierre de Coubertin days, said he is grateful for the opportunity to meet students and foster their spirit for personal excellence.

“The students receive an insight into the whole Olympic Movement. The journey is much bigger than what you see at the Olympic games every four years, it is an ongoing journey with many obstacles, setbacks, hopes and dreams to represent our country,” he said.

The students were thrilled to meet some of their sporting heroes, with award winner and wrestler, Tom Barns from Trinity College starting his own sporting journey as he heads to the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires next month.

He said of the presentation,

“It's not only been a great behind the scenes look at sport at the highest level but was so inspiring and motivating to hear the different athletes’ journeys, overcoming setbacks and drive to achieve their dreams”.

Thomas Barns PDC Award

Aquinas College student, Christopher Kilroe said the key message he took away from the athletes was to, 

“Give 100% effort the whole time and be happy with your best effort as that is what counts."

"The outcome doesn’t matter, you can’t control the results – as long as you gave it your best shot.”

MLC student Eliza Smith said,

“It was cool doing the behind the scenes tour of WAIS and hearing about the science behind sport and how our PE studies at school can be put into the practice.”

While Emma Wilson from PLC added,

“It was unbelievable hearing about the sacrifices and the choices the Olympians had to make on their journey to achieve their dreams – really inspirational”.

Joining the Hon Martin Pritchard MLC, Member for the North Metropolitan Region at the State Presentation Ceremony was Olympian Lauren Mitchell.  Her message was threefold - Discover your why - what do you want to achieve, control what you can, such as the preparation not the outcome and change the language - create positive dialogue and set small challenges on the journey to achieve your ultimate goal. 

“It was fantastic to speak to the students and their families today, I love sharing my story and the process of how I achieved my goals to hopefully inspire them to achieve their own,” Mitchell said.

Jamie Lau, a passionate tennis athlete from Melville SHS asked Mitchell for some advice on how to juggle sport with school work. Mitchell’s advice  - “It is important to have good communication with the school and teachers for support. Your school and sport priorities will fluctuate during your career,  so you must shift the focus of your priorities as you need to achieve the balance.”

Cape Naturaliste College student, Rosie Rowell travelled from Dunsborough to be part of this incredible day and said, 

“It was such an informative and inspiring presentation, especially hearing all the hard work and mental strength Lauren showed to come back from her injuries”.

AOC WA State Manager Lisa Lilleyman acknowledged the great support from schools throughout Western Australia for the Pierre de Coubertin Award, with nominations received from metropolitan and regional schools including Albany, Geraldton and Christmas Island.

“We are thrilled so many wonderful WA Youth could be recognised for displaying the Olympic Values and their commitment to excellence in all areas of their lives. We are pleased so many could join us for the Academy Day and continue to be inspired by our Olympians,” she said.


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