Local emerging athletes learn from Olympians as part of Pierre de Coubertin Award

St Brigid’s College student Alicia James (right) receives her Pierre de Coubertin Award for Sportsmanship from former Olympian Lauren Mitchell.
St Brigid’s College student Alicia James (right) receives her Pierre de Coubertin Award for Sportsmanship from former Olympian Lauren Mitchell.

THE chance to meet Olympians such as Lauren Mitchell and Jesse Phillips was not lost on some of the State’s most promising emerging talents, including St Brigid’s College schoolgirl Alicia James, Aquinas College student Christopher Kilroe and Como Secondary’s Chelsea Turner.

The local trio were among 33 winners of this year’s Pierre de Coubertin Award for Sportsmanship from the Australian Olympic Committee and part of their prize was a session on leadership, goal setting and resilience with some of WA’s Olympic heroes.

Joining sprint kayak star Jesse Phillips as leaders of the Olympic Academy Day were swimmer Tamsin Cook, synchronised swimmer Danielle Kettlewell and rower Rhys Grant, who each relayed their Olympic story.

Alicia (17) described champion hurdler Sally Pearson as her role model not just because of her success, but because of her determination, work ethic and resilience.

Christopher, a 17-year-old rower, said the key messages he took away from the athletes was to “give 100 per cent effort the whole time, be happy with your best effort, the outcome doesn’t matter and you can’t control the results – as long as you gave it your best shot”.

The students also toured the WA Institute of Sport’s high performance facility and learned about the Olympic movement.

Former gymnast Mitchell, who presented the Pierre de Coubertin awards, described the process and the journey as the key to achieving any ultimate goal such as Olympic representation.

“It was fantastic to speak to the students and their families, I love sharing my story and the process of how I achieved my goals to hopefully inspire them to achieve their own,” she said.

Wesley College student Matheson Gee also received an award, but was unable to attend the presentation earlier this month.

The Pierre de Coubertin Award is named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games and presented by the Australian Olympic Committee to student athletes who demonstrate the ideals of the Olympic movement, excellence, sportsmanship and respect.