Athletes inspire regional communities at WA Champions 2 Country Tour
20 September 2018
AOC: Last week, four of Australia’s Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games stars took part in the “Champions 2 Country” 2018 East Kimberley Regional Tour, bringing their stories of inspiration and resilience to youth living in remote areas.
Three-time Olympian and gold medallist, Belinda Stowell, Olympic silver medallist, Tamsin Cook, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Nina Kennedy and Paralympian and shark attack survivor, Sean Pollard, all shared their journeys with kids in the East Kimberley region.
WA Olympic Council Executive Officer, Lisa Lilleyman explained;
“Many of Australia’s successful athletes hailed from regional Australia.
“The Champions 2 Country Tour allowed our athletes to provide an example of what can be achieved with courage, discipline, teamwork and dedication, thus inspiring, encouraging and supporting regional youth to achieve their dreams,” she said.
“One of the main objectives was for the athletes to share their own sporting journeys and experiences, to provide inspiration to the regional youth on issues including healthy lifestyle, team work, leadership, respect and motivation, along with encouraging them to achieve their goals.”
Over four days, the tour covered 1200 km and visited six towns including Wyndham, Doon Doon, Warmun, Frog Hollow, Halls Creek and the key regional centre of Kununurra.
The athletes participated in 17 school talks across 10 schools, two sporting clinics and six community events, leaving the region’s youth inspired and ready to chase their dreams.
Olympic swimmer, Cook said being able to connect with the community in a meaningful way, was the most rewarding part of the tour.
“The most memorable moments for me were our community events in Halls Creek and the swim clinic in Kununurra, because they weren’t formal in any way,” she said.
“We had the opportunity to chat to everyone and really talk about their hopes and aspirations for the future. I felt like we made real connections.
“I’d never been to anywhere this remote before and I love that we got to see and experience a part of Australia that is often forgotten.”
Cook also shared on Instagram,
“Nothing I write would adequately sum up the experience of the Champions 2 Country Tour.
“To Kununurra, Halls Creek, Wyndham, Frog Hollow and Warnum, thank you.
“You are so filled with love and compassion and we felt it when you welcomed us with open arms. One day these kids are going to light up the world.”
Olympic sailor, Stowell added,
“The tour was so special, we felt honoured to be invited into these beautiful community schools, it was incredibly rewarding to be able to engage so closely with the children in these remote schools and be part of the spirit of the bush.”