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Olympians inspire students on historic day

21 November 2016

EDUCATION: Olympic medallists and Australian sporting heroes are touring Victoria this week to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games.

Athletes will be providing secondary school students an insight into their lives as elite athletes as part of the Australian Olympic Committee’s (AOC) ‘Meet with a Champ’ program.

Rio Olympians, Rhydian Cowley (Athletics), Belinda Hocking (Swimming) and Travis Mahoney (Swimming) will speak to over 200 students at Lakeside Stadium tomorrow, 60 years to the day after the Opening Ceremony of the 1956 Games.

Three-time Olympian, Belinda Hocking said it will be very special to be able to celebrate the anniversary of her home city’s Games.

“Melbourne is an amazing sporting city of Australia and I feel very luck to live here,” said Hocking.

“Having a home games would be extremely special, I imagine, and the support you would get being at home would be incredible.”

Rhydian Cowley who competed in the men’s 20km walk at the Rio Games, said the opportunity to give something back to young students was incredibly special.

“When you're the student, on your way through life, there are so many people along the way there to lend a hand and help you out, so to be given the chance to lend my hand and try to inspire is nice,” said Cowley.

On Wednesday, Cowley will join Olympic legend Steve Moneghetti at Ballarat High School to continue to spread the Olympic movement to the next generation.

Moneghetti said in the past he has found sharing his story with students quite emotional.

“I was in their position dreaming of being a successful athlete and it has been such an amazing journey,” said Moneghetti.

Moneghetti wants students to walk away from the session with one message.

“Talent will only get u so far, hard work and commitment will get you a lot further. Enjoy the ride.”

In a one-hour discussion, the Olympians will talk about how they became involved in sport, the positive impact it’s had on their lives as well as their experience at the Olympic Games.

Meet with a Champ tours around the country during the year and at each event feature two outstanding Olympians, who share with aspiring athletes the positive impact sport has had on their lives.

Meet with a Champ is just one part of the a.s.p.i.r.e. school network, the AOC’s education program, which uses the Olympic sport traditions and values to teach life values and life skills.

For more information about Olympic education and how to participate visit the AOC website – http://www.education.olympics.com.au or contact Ashleigh Knight 02 8436 2144


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