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Pierre de Coubertin

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2018 Pierre de Coubertin Awards


43 Western Australian secondary school students have been awarded with the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin award by the Australian Olympic Committee.   Named after the founder of the Modern Olympic Games, the Award recognises students for their outstanding sportsmanship and overall dedication to pursuing excellence - exemplifying the Olympic values.

33 students and their families attended the State Presentation Ceremony held in Perth over the weekend.  The students were invited to an Olympic Academy Day held prior to the Presentation Ceremony, which provided students 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 with the students their own Olympic journey.  The students also learnt about the Olympic movement and toured the Western Australian Institute of Sports high performance facility.

Emcee, Olympian Jesse 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 just what you see at the Olympic games every 4 years. It is an ongoing journey with many obstacles, setbacks, hopes and dreams to represent our Country”.

The students were thrilled to meet some of their sporting heroes. A young award winner, Tom Barns from Trinity College has started his own sporting journey as he heads to the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires for wrestling. He said the presentation “had 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’ journey, overcoming setbacks and drive to achieve their dreams”.   

Aquinas College student, Christopher Kilroe said the key message he took away from the athletes was to “give 100% effort the whole time and that is what counts. Be happy with your best effort, the outcome doesn’t matter, you can’t control the results – as long as you gave it your best shot” which is important to remember for both sport and studies.

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.”  Emma Wilson from PLC thought “It was unbelievable hearing about the sacrifices and the choices they 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 - 1. Discover your Why - What do you want to achieve? 2. Control what you can, such as the preparation not the outcome and 3. Change the language –create positive dialogue, 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”.  

Cape Naturaliste College student, Rosie Rowell travelled from Dunsborough to be part of this incredible day, “it was such an informative an inspiring presentation, especially hearing all the hard work and mental strength Lauren showed to come back from her injuries”. 

Jamie Lau, a passionate tennis athlete from Melville SHS asked Lauren 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.” 


Congratulations to the 2018 Pierre de Coubertin Award Recipients:

Given Names Last Name Organisation Name
Thomas Barns Trinity College
Elliot Bennett Geraldton Senior College
Oliver Bownds Kelmscott SHS
Erin Brown Central Midlands SHS
Josh Carr Christmas Island District High School
Rhiannon Clarke Mater Dei college
Lydia Davies Warnbro Community High School
Kallum Erikson Irene McCormack Catholic College
Daniel Frost Warwick SHS
Matheson Gee Wesley College
Madison Good Peter Carnley Anglican Community School
Georgia Goss Northam Senior High School
Madison Heady Sacred Heart College
Kate Inglis-Hodge Serpentine Jarrahdale Grammar School
Pieter Jacobsz Thornlie Christian College
Alicia James St Brigid's College Lesmurdie
Thomas Keating Duncraig Senior High School
Christopher Kilroe Aquinas College
Abbie Kozlowska Shenton College
Jamie Lau Melville Senior High School
Jessica Lees Carey Baptist College
Ethan Miles Georgiana Molloy Anglican School
Aleesha Narkle North Albany Senior High School
Ross Nesbitt John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School
Jamie Oberman Carine Senior High School
Isadora Rakich Presbyterian Ladies College
Rosie Rowell Cape Naturaliste College
Eden-Lee Schaffer Carmel School
Katie Smith Armadale Senior High School
Eliza Smith Methodist Ladies' College
Adele Smith Santa Maria College
Grace Smith Safety Bay Senior High School
Ella Smith Newton Moore Senior High School
Maya Stampfer St Hilda's Anglican School for GIrls
Olivia Styles La Salle College
Dante Swart The King's College
Thomas Throssell Trinity College
Gabrielle Toth Chisholm Catholic College
Chelsea Turner Como Secondary College
Daniel Walker Scotch College
Georgia Williams John XXIII College
Emma Wilson Presbyterian Ladies College

About the Award

Named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games, the award recognises students who demonstrate sporting prowess whilst exemplifying the Olympic values of excellence, sportsmanship and respect.

All secondary government and non government schools and state sporting associations are invited to nominate one recipient for the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin Award  from year 10, 11 or 12. Nominations will re-open April 2019.  All successful nominations will receive a certificate signed by the President of the Australian Olympic Committee, Mr John Coates AC.  The Olympic Academy Day and State P{resentation Ceremony will be held in June 2019 and the first 80 successful student nominations will be invited to attend the academy day and have the opportunity to meet with and hear from our Olympians and hear their unique insight into the Olympic Games with stories about how they got involved in sport and the positive impact this has had on their life.

“The award allows you to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for Olympic values, meet new people and form new friendships,” Australian Olympic Committee board member Helen Brownlee said.



At some stage throughout their schooling, the selected student must:

  • Be enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12 and not have received the Award on a previous occasion.

  • Have participated actively in the school physical education program and/or state sporting association competitions and activities with a consistently positive attitude.

  • Demonstrate the attributes consistent with the fundamental aims of the Olympic movement

  • Represented the school or state sporting association in at least one sport on the current Olympic program and

  • Participated in at least two other sports (individual or team).

  • Submit a literacy or artistic piece that depicts an appreciation of Olympism in response to this year’s theme: (TBC) The literary or artistic piece related to the theme must accompany the nomination form otherwise it will be deemed invalid. All pieces submitted remain the property of the WAOC and where appropriate may be used in official publications. Please note:  - Literary pieces must be a MAXIMUM of 250 words (typed) in length. - Artistic pieces must be within the confines of 64x45cm or equivalent in 3D. An artistic piece could refer to, but is not limited to, a painting, collage or framed piece.



  • The Award is open to all secondary students in years 10,11 or 12
  • Nominations will open in April 2019
  • More than 17,000 secondary students across Australia have received the award since its inception.
  • Previous WA Pierre de Coubertin Award winners include WA’s dual Olympian Kim Mickle (Javelin), triple Olympian Fergus Kavanagh (Hockey) and five time Olympian Jamie Dwyer (Hockey).

For more information, please contact the Western Australian Olympic Council on (08) 6168 9185 or email lisa.lilleyman@olympics.com.au, or visit the AOC Education Website here