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Olympians bring festive cheer to RCH Pratt’s Party for Kids

1 December 2017

AOC: Nine Australian Olympians helped bring laughter and joy to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital yesterday at the Pratt Foundation’s Party for Kids.

The festive party provided a fun day of activities for some sick kids and their families, and a welcomed break from the hardships of being in hospital.

Amongst the petting zoo, jumping castle, magicians, clowns and presents, a number of Aussie Olympians jumped at the chance to join in the celebrations.

Dual Olympic diver Anabelle Smith said she couldn’t “turn down the opportunity to spend time with kids who are fighting illnesses.”

“I feel privileged to be able to call myself an athlete and to lead the life I do, so giving back to the community who has supported me and cheered me on whilst representing our country is so important,” the Rio bronze medallist said.

“If I could bring a smile to [the children’s] faces for a day, it would bring me so much joy.”

CEO of Pratt Philanthropies, Sam Lipski, said the Christmas party was a huge success.

“Anthony Pratt and the Pratt Foundation have been long-time supporters of the Royal Children’s Hospital and are proud to continue that tradition,” Lipski said.

“Thursday’s party was part of Anthony’s recent pledge to donate $1 billion in his lifetime to charitable causes.”

CEO of The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Sue Hunt, agreed the party was a lot of fun and expressed her gratitude for the contribution the Olympians made on the day.

“Thank you to everyone from the Australian Olympic Team who came to the hospital and shared in the fun of Pratt’s Party for the Kids," Hunt said.

"Having Olympians join us from a range of sports really brought a smile to the faces of many patients who are spending the holiday season in hospital. Pratt’s Party for the Kids is a wonderful event, made all the more special thanks to your involvement."

Three-time Olympian Carmen Marton and her Rio Olympian sister Caroline ran a mini taekwondo workshop with the children which was received with high levels of enthusiasm.

“The kids were laughing, yelling out 'kiaaahh' and breaking boards with big smiles on their faces - it just filled my heart,” Carmen said.

“It is really important to support the Pratt’s Party and acknowledge all the incredible work which is done at the RCH.

“A major factor of my sport success can be attributed to the support I received from my family and Taekwondo community. So I want to give that experience of support and positive interactions to others, knowing how valuable it is in building healthy self-worth and emotional wellbeing,” she said.

Joining the Marton sisters and Smith included their Rio Olympic teammates Talgat Ilyasov (wrestling) Hannah Cross and Emily Rogers (synchronised swimming), Carrie Smith (sailing), Madeline Hills (athletics) and two-time Olympic gymnast Larrissa Miller.

“The fact that I get to do this makes me emotional,” Miller said.

“This world was designed for relationships and community, and to me they are family. It’s an essential part of life to lift each other up and encourage each other. Spreading messages of hope, truth and love is our purpose.”

Georgia Thompson

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