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Olympians inspire QLD students at 2019 Sport Accord Festival

13 May 2019

OLYMPICS UNLEASHED: Australian Olympians inspired hundreds of Queensland students at a special Olympics Unleashed presentation as part of the 2019 Sport Accord Festival on the Gold Coast.

Weightlifter Deb Acason, skeleton racer Jackie Narracott and sprint kayaker Alyce Burnett shared their Olympic journey and how students can use these lessons to unleash their own passions.

Weightlifter Acason spoke on the importance of following the right voices – working with people who support and encourage you to follow your dreams rather than the naysayers.

“When I first started I had a lot of people tell me women shouldn’t be weightlifting – if I listened to them I never would have made the Olympics,” Acason said.

“I had family and friends support me to do what I loved and that can make a huge difference. Whether it’s in sport or school or work, all of you young people need to make sure you work with people that encourage and support you, and be that supporting and positive voice for your friends."

Narracott discussed the importance of not just focusing on the biggest goals as that can stop you from even getting started.

“If you focus on your biggest goals – like medalling at the Olympics – it can seem so big and so far away. But if you break it down it becomes much more achievable.

“Each day I want to get a little bit better or stronger or faster than I was yesterday. Meeting little personal bests like that keep you motivated and it makes a huge goal like the Olympics achievable. You can do that in any part of your life, no matter what dream you’re chasing.”

Sprint kayaker Burnett, whose K2 partner Alyssa Bull took on a new role as ‘BK’ (Boxing Kangaroo) mascot, emphasised the importance of finding something you love and following it.

“When I was younger, I didn’t embrace and love the grind of my athletic journey – yes I’d train and race but I wasn’t doing the extra little bits you need to excel. This sounds like a love story, but when I started training with ‘Bully’ (Alyssa Bull) I started loving the sport so much more. It really helped me unlock my passion and do all those extra one percenters that has made all the difference.

“If you can find teammates or schoolmates that help you love what you’re doing – in sport or anything else – it’s going to make it so much easier to do the extra work that lets you achieve incredible things.

Gaven State School teacher Kurt Gislingham appreciated the impact hearing messages from Olympians can have on students.

“The kids can see the commitment required to get there, but also the importance of doing your best in whatever you’re trying to,” he said.

“It’s so good seeing so many different sports represented – for the kids to hear form a weightlifter, kayaker or skeleton races is something out of the ordinary, it has a big impact on them.

“Kids have certain people in their lives that they get messages from – whether it’s teachers, family or someone else and sometimes kids may switch off. But to have Olympians talking about their own experiences and how that relates to them will cut through and really stick with them.”

Olympics Unleashed takes Olympians and aspiring Olympians into schools across Queensland to share the ideals of Olympism and show how students can build resilience, set goals and follow their passions to be the best they can be – whether on the sporting field, at school or at home.

You can find out more or register your school for Olympics Unleashed HERE


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