Eight Australians on IOC Commissions

Submitted by admin on Sat, 05/30/2020 - 20:06
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Cathy Freeman
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Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates AC has welcomed the inclusion of eight Australians on a range of International Olympic Committee (IOC) Commissions.

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Mr Coates, who Chairs two Commissions, says Australians will play an important role in the work done by the Commissions as the Olympic movement focuses on bringing the world together through sport.

“I note that the IOC’s commitment to gender equality now sees 47.4% of Commission membership occupied by women, up from 45.4% last year.

“Australia is represented by four women and four men in a total of eight Commissions. 

“I further note that IOC President Thomas Bach remains committed to increase the number of women who Chair and are members of Commissions with 11 of the 30 Commissions now chaired by women, a record high.

“This increased representation ensures that the female voice is heard and that sport can play such a significant role in bringing about gender equality.

The Australians appointed to IOC Commissions are:

  • John Coates AC: Chair, Legal Affairs Commission, Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Coordination Commission
  • Helen Brownlee AM: Women in Sport Commission
  • James Tomkins OAM: Athletes’ Commission, Olympic Programme Commission, Marketing Commission
  • Kitty Chiller AM: Athletes’ Entourage Commission
  • Catherine Freeman OAM: Sport and Active Society Commission
  • Mark Woodforde OAM: Communications Commission
  • Moya Dodd: Athletes Entourage Commission
  • Ryan Stokes: Olympic Education

Full list of IOC Commissions for 2020.

Olympics Unleashed Goes Online to Inspire Students to Overcome Challenges

Submitted by admin on Fri, 05/29/2020 - 17:03
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The Australian Olympic Committee’s (AOC) Olympics Unleashed program, presented by Optus, has moved into the digital classroom, with more than 70 New South Wales schools signing-up to connect students with Olympians sharing lessons in resilience and goal-setting.

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This afternoon dual sport Olympian Alex Croak, who represented Australia at the Olympics in both gymnastics (Sydney 2000) and diving (Beijing 2008), shared her experience with more than 400 students at Pymble Ladies’ College in Sydney.

Olympics Unleashed has seen 120,000 students in over 800 around Australia receive face to face talks from Olympians and athletes aspiring for Tokyo 2020 on how to overcome adversity and adapt to new challenges.

More than 1000 students from 16 schools across New South Wales, from Sydney to Condobolin and Barham have connected with athletes since Unleashed moved online in mid-May, commencing at Newcastle’s Whitebridge High School.

AOC CEO Matt Carroll said Olympians’ message of resilience, teamwork and perseverance is more important than ever.

“The COVID-19 crisis is affecting everyone, from athletes whose Olympic dreams for Tokyo have been postponed until 2021, to students facing the challenge of adapting to learning during the pandemic,” Mr Carroll said.

“Olympians have inspiring stories that go beyond sport - stories of overcoming challenges, adapting to circumstances beyond your control and getting back up after being knocked down.

“The great take-up we’ve seen from schools in just two weeks of Olympics Unleashed going online in New South Wales shows the enthusiasm for this message right now.

“Thanks to the support of Optus and governments in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT  we can connect Olympians with students  through Olympics Unleashed, making a real difference for these young people at a decisive time,” Mr Carroll said.

More than 34 000 students from 280 schools in New South Wales have already come face to face with athletes through Olympics Unleashed before COVID-19.

Local State Member of Parliament for Ku-ring-gai, Alister Henskens SC MP said, “It was a privilege for the PLC students this afternoon to have the opportunity to hear from an exceptional Australian athlete like Alex, who has represented Australia in two different Olympic Sports.”

“I endorse this program which is financially supported by the NSW Government”.

Just as Olympians have been separated from teammates, training centres and elite competition due to COVID-19, students across Australia are adapting to getting back to school after being apart from their classmates learning from home.

Alex Croak says Olympians enjoy giving back to the community and today’s students had plenty of questions after navigating their way through the pandemic experience.

“It’s great to be able to share with students some things I learned from my Olympic experiences,” said Ms Croak.

“I try to encourage students to accept that not everything will always go to plan – but how you adapt and react to what you might see as a negative experience can actually deliver a positive outcome.

“Building resilience out of a bumpy experience will help you in so many ways throughout your life. The biggest lessons I learned in my Olympic career were out of failures, not the successes.” 

Optus Managing Director Marketing and Revenue Matt Williams said transitioning to online visits allowed the Olympics Unleashed messages to continue to inspire students at an important time.

“We are delighted to see Olympics Unleashed go online, as it is imperative these types of role models are visible to Australian school kids,” Mr Williams said.

“There is no doubt we are looking forward to seeing our Australian athletes compete on the world stage at the Tokyo Olympics, but we’re equally as excited to see the Olympics Unleashed inspire the next generation and change the future they see.”

Olympics Unleashed is available online in NSW, with online visits rolling out in coming weeks in Queensland, ACT and South Australia. The program is free for schools thanks to support from presenting partner Optus, state governments and the AOC and available for schools right across each state and territory. 

Schools can find out more and register for online visits now.

Set your #OlympicDayGoals ahead of Olympic Day 2020!

Submitted by admin on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 13:06
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On June 23,  Australian Olympians, Olympic sport federations and Olympic fans worldwide will celebrate Olympic Day and its global theme, ‘Move, Learn, Discover.’

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Olympic Day is a chance to celebrate everything Australians love about the Olympics – teamwork, sportsmanship and doing your very best both on and off the sporting field.

For 2020, Olympic Day has taken on a new significance given the global pandemic and isolation within the COVID-19 environment, but that doesn’t stop us from keeping active and reassessing our goals, just like athletes working towards Tokyo 2020 in 2021.

This year, the Australian Olympic Team encourages all Aussies to set a personal goal on 1 June 2020 that they hope to achieve by Olympic Day on 23 June, 2020. 

Your goal can be just for yourself, or you can challenge your teammates – it can be anything you’d like!

Get your thinking caps on and decide your Olympic Day Goal and pledge it on social media on June 1, using the #OlympicDayGoals pledge cards for Facebook / Twitter, Instagram or Instagram stories.

Encourage your mates to also accept the challenge by tagging them on social media, where you can support each other by sharing your weekly progress, tagging @AUSOlympicTeam and #OlympicDayGoals.

 

 

Schools and Teachers can also access an #OlympicDayGoals activity planner for the month of June and goal setting cards for the classrooms HERE.

Then, on 23 June – Olympic Day – everyone will come together across Australia to show how they’ve achieved their #OlympicDayGoals!

Gather your mates, get planning and set yourself a goal ready for June 1!

 

Olympic Day 2020

Submitted by admin on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 08:50
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Olympic Day Live, hosted by Optus

Celebrate Olympic Day with Aussie Olympic champions Ian Thorpe and Ellia Green, with Olympic Day Live, hosted by Optus!

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You're invited to tune in on Tuesday 23 June at 12.30pm AEST to hear directly from Ian Thorpe, Australia’s most successful Olympian, and Ellia Green, who made history as the first ever Olympic champions in Rugby 7s at Rio 2016, about what the Olympics means to them.

Hosted by Channel 7’s Mark Beretta, Ian and Ellia will share their Olympic experiences, and check in with athletes and community members who have set #OlympicDayGoals – working on new challenges throughout June to achieve by Olympic Day.

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Set your reminder below.

#OlympicDayGoals

Join in an international celebration developed to promote healthy and active lifestyles, tailored to the Australian public and schools.


What is Olympic Day?

Olympic Day is much more than just a sports event, it is an opportunity for the world to get active, learn about Olympic values and discover new sports.

This year, athletes all over the world are reassessing their goals in a COVID-19 world, so our #OlympicDayGoals campaign encourages the general public and school students to do the same.

What is #OlympicDayGoals?

Inspired by Olympians and their goal-setting, we're encouraging you to realise how much can be achieved in just three weeks, if you set a goal and stick at it. 

Set a goal at the start of June 2020 which you would like to achieve by Olympic Day - 23 June 2020.

Together we will celebrate our progress and achievements on Olympic Day.

Get Involved - Social Media

1. Set a goal on 1 June to achieve by Olympic Day - 23 June 2020
2. Download your preferred #OlympicDayGoals graphics below;

3. Share your goal on social & challenge 4 mates to join in by tagging them in your post (example copy available below)
4. Share your weekly progress on your social channels - tag @AUSOlympicTeam and #OlympicDayGoals
5. Together we’ll celebrate our #OlympicDayGoals on Olympic Day

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Instagram Stories Example

Here’s an example of what your Instagram story might look like.

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After you post the completed goal setting card, share a blank card, so others can screenshot and post it on their own story with their goals:

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An Instagram post could look something like this – the individual shares a ‘BEFORE’ picture, followed by the Instagram goal setting card in one post.

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Goal Setting Card

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I accept the @AUSOlympicTeam #OlympicDayGoals Challenge!

The goal I will achieve by Olympic Day is [INSERT GOAL HERE]. This is my starting point today....lots of room for practice and improvement over the next 23 days.

I challenge [TAG 4 MATES HERE] to set their own #OlympicDayGoals, and together we can celebrate our achievements on 23 June.

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I accept the @AUSOlympicTeam #OlympicDayGoals Challenge!

The goal I will achieve by Olympic Day is [INSERT GOAL HERE].

I challenge [TAG 4 MATES HERE] to set their own #OlympicDayGoals, and together we can celebrate our achievements on 23 June.

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I accept the @AUSOlympicTeam #OlympicDayGoals Challenge!

The goal I will achieve by Olympic Day is [INSERT GOAL HERE].

I challenge @friend1, @friend2, friend3 & @friend4 to set their own #OlympicDayGoals, and together we can celebrate our achievements on 23 June.


Get Involved - Schools

We have some resources for you to help bring Olympic Day to life and engage your class with challenges and goals throughout June. Download the full set of education resources

1. Olympic Day Goal Pledge: Encourage your students to set a goal on 1 June to achieve by Olympic Day - 23 June 2020
2. Olympic Day Activity Guide: The activity guide encourages students to embrace Olympic Day and their goal by getting involved in activities designed to encourage physical activity, challenge their creativity, and learn about Aussie Olympic athletes and sports
3. Olympic Day Goal Certificate: for students who complete their goals on 23 June
4. Encourage students and the school to share weekly progress on social channels - tag @AUSOlympicTeam and #OlympicDayGoals or email education@olympics.com.au - we would love to see the images and hear stories of your class getting involved!
5. Together we’ll celebrate our #OlympicDayGoals on Olympic Day via a live event

Contact Us

If you have any questions or problems, please email fans@olympics.com.au (general public) or education@olympics.com.au (schools).

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Belle Brockhoff on her outstanding comeback and adjusting to life during COVID-19

Submitted by admin on Tue, 05/26/2020 - 14:27
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Sochi 2014 Mogul Skier Taylah O'Neill caught up with Snow Australia's Most Outstanding Achievement Award recipient, Belle Brockhoff, to chat about her amazing comeback from injury, including five from six podium finishes.

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The 27-year-old made an epic return to the snowboard world cup tour claiming a bronze medal in her very first event back, before going on to claim a gold, silver and two more bronze medals.  

She finished the season ranked number two in the world and was recently awarded Snow Australia’s Outstanding Achievement Award.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I'm happy with how the season went. I'd be lying id i said I was 100% satisfied with the season (regardless of coming back from injury) but that is because I know I can do better and I haven't reached my full potential. That is how I push myself. There's so much for me to learn, so much room for improvement and I'm so excited for that. I'm so excited to work hard this off-season (it's an obsession) and I hope the other girls work hard too because that'll push me and the sport. Thankyou to the @owi_aus , my coaches, wax techs, trainer and physios ❤ Thankyou to my family, friends and partner ❤ Thankyou to my sponsors and supporters for believing in me ❤ It all means so much! 😊 Train hard girls, I'm looking forward to some great racing on the next World Cup series 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼😊😊😊 PIC | @hockster111 - The top 3 women on the world rankings.

A post shared by BELLE BROCKHOFF (@bellebrockhoff) on

 

In the lead up to, PyeongChang 2018, Belle suffered two ACL ruptures, forcing her to take two years away from snowboarding to recover and rehabilitate, however, this did not stop her from competing and she finished 11th at the Games. 

She elected not to have surgery and effectively, competed without an intact ACL.
 
When asked what it was like competing without an ACL, the 27-year-old stated that she simply had to work with what she had. 

“I was in a lot of pain because there was still bone bruising, so every time I moved it was really painful,” Brockhoff said.  

“I just wanted to get the job done, I wanted to push what I could do physically and mentally and just see how far I could go”.  

 

Shortly after the Games, Brockhoff underwent knee reconstructive surgery for her ACL, forcing her to take a step back from competitive snowboarding. While many athletes would consider two years away from their chosen sport a significant setback, Belle saw her time off as an opportunity for growth.  

“I’ve had two ACL injuries, but I would not consider them a setback. Maybe in terms of not being able to compete, but in terms of athlete growth they have not been a setback at all,” she reflected.  

“If I had the choice to take it back, I wouldn’t. It has taught me so much, and the biggest thing has been patience. It has taught me patience as a person, both in my sport and outside of sport”.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Teaching the right leg to squat again 😊 First small squats 🙌 #18dayspost

A post shared by BELLE BROCKHOFF (@bellebrockhoff) on

 

Brockhoff’s ability to focus on the big picture and her ‘going for gold’ mentality certainly assisted her when she finally returned to the snow in December 2019. Leading into her first competition in two years, she was confident in her ability and was prepared for the season ahead.  

“My board tech and I knew what was going to happen, but we didn’t want to voice it. We just said I was going to have a good season,” she said 

“It was a gut feeling, it was a good feeling, and I just wanted to win, I didn’t want to take it easy”.  

That gut feeling certainly proved itself over the course of the season, with the 27-year-old claiming five podium finishes from six starts. The season highlight for Brockhoff, however, was her comeback win, which she achieved in Big White, Canada.   

“I was coming last at the start of the race, but I just stayed patient and stayed in the moment, and I was able to make the moves I needed to get ahead of the other riders,” 

“So that was a big thing for me. Coming back after two years off the sport, after two years of rehab, to come back and just have that win... It was huge for me”.  

 

To top it off, Belle was also recently awarded the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2020 Snow Australia Awards for her awe-inspiring comeback season. The Victorian said she felt enormous pride to be announced as the award recipient.  

After the final World Cup of the season, Belle returned home to Australia just as the COVID-19 restrictions were starting to be put in place. Fortunately, this period is usually spent mostly in the gym for many winter athletes, so the restrictions have so far not affected them as heavily as others.  

“I just can’t go to the gym at the moment because the VIS has closed,” 

“I always go to the VIS and have an extra half an hour planned in my session, because I know I will be talking to different people in between exercises,” she joked.  

“But we just have to work with what we have and do it the best we can, rather than moping around and not getting anything done. You just have to adapt with what is happening and what is presented to you”.  

Like many athletes, Belle has adapted to the gym closures by creating her own small gym in her home garage. In addition to this, she has organised social distance runs with friends in order to maintain a social touchpoint. 

“I am really lucky to have a strength and conditioning coach who has tailored my gym program with what I have at home, and I am lucky enough to know some people in the fitness industry who have helped me get equipment,” she said.  

“I tee up social distance runs as well on side, so they’ll either be in front of me or behind me, and we choose a loop to do and it has been really good to be able to get out in the fresh air with a friend”.  

With the Australian ski season coming up, Belle is hopeful that she will be able to get back on snow with restrictions starting to relax nation-wide. However, if the season does not go ahead the Dual Olympian is prepared to make the most of what she does have access to.  


“If the Australian season does not go ahead, we just miss out on on-snow training, which will suck. But my coaches and team are quite creative in terms of what they can do with an on-snow training replacement, so I am not worried”.  

“We are very fortunate to have support from resorts like Mt. Hotham and Mt. Buller here in Victoria, they have amazing training facilities with gyms, tramps and slope access,” she continued.  

“So, if we can do something at the mountain resorts here, that will be awesome, even if it does involve a lot of hiking rather than catching the lift. But if that doesn’t happen, we will just keep training in the gym at home!” 

As for some advice for younger athletes trying to maintain their motivation during COVID-19, Belle believes they should use this time to build their mental strength, to learn to be accountable for their own training and to use the extra time at home as an opportunity to recover better.  

 

“At home you may not train as hard as you usually would, because you don’t have the people around you that make you accountable. So, it is up to you to be responsible, and accountable of yourself and to push yourself to hit those targets,” 

“You can also use this opportunity to recover better, do an extra recovery session, have some extra sleep and learn something on the side to keep your mind ticking over,” 

“Most of all, I always push for athletes that I am mentoring to train their mind, because your mind is like a muscle. You need to get better and better at being mentally strong and resilient and have that grit so that when it comes to game day, you are ready. Take this an opportunity to really become strong”.  

Looking forward, Belle has her sights set on winning a gold medal at next year's World Championships. From there, she intends on starting her third Olympic campaign in the lead up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.  

 

“I have never been shy of saying that I am going for gold. I have always been competitive; I have always wanted to know how far I can push. I will do everything I can, that I can control, so that I am in the best position to win a gold medal,” 

“I don’t like winning silver, I don’t like winning bronze, it’s not good enough for me, I just want to win”.  

Belle’s unwavering determination and competitive mentality has certainly helped build her into the athlete she is today and the incredible force of nature she has become in her sport.  

Taylah O'Neill

Olympic boxer Paul Fleming connects to culture through Aboriginal art

Submitted by admin on Tue, 05/26/2020 - 12:57
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Acknowledgement of Country

"My name is Paul Fleming, I am a first nation Australian man from Wakka Wakka Wanyurr Majay, Yuggera country.

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners across all of Australia.

I would like to pay my respects to our ancestors that have passed, the Elders of present and the leaders of the future."

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Indigenous Australian boxer Paul Fleming took up Aboriginal art a year and a half ago, after ‘not having an artistic bone in his body.’

Now, the Beijing 2008 Olympian has been commissioned by the AOC to put together two pieces of art for the Olympic Team and wants to use his newfound skills to encourage the next generation to stay close to their roots and be proud of who they are.

“With both designs I went with green and gold, because they’re the Australian colours,” Fleming stated of his AOC commissioned artworks.
 

 

“The first piece represents the journey and it’s one that also represented my own.

“The journey to making the Olympic Games was a long one with many bumps in the road. It’s never just given to you, everyone needs to go out there and work really hard to earn it,” he explained.

“I moved away from home when I was 16 and sacrificed a lot. The rest of my teenage years, into early adulthood were dedicated to making the Olympics and that’s time you can never get back.

“You need to have inner strength and willpower to push through all of the obstacles in reaching your goals and I still call on those lessons later in my life, just being proud of everything I had to overcome to get to the Olympics.

“In that artwork, the Olympic Rings are in the centre, but the story is more about everything that leads to you getting to those rings.”
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sneek peak of a piece I'm working on amt #aboriginalart #indigenousart #dotpainting

A post shared by paulshowtimefleming (@paulshowtimefleming) on


“The smaller piece had a similar theme, but it’s more focused on the centre piece which represents a meeting place because the Olympic brings together people of all colours, religions and backgrounds from all over the world who are all competing for the same goal,” Fleming said.

“Everyone essentially becomes ‘one’, we’re all athletes and it doesn’t matter where you come from.

“The people surrounding the meeting place represent the people in your life who have helped you get to where you are. Your family, friends and even competitors because if we don’t have competitors, we don’t have competitions.”

The themes Fleming portrays in his artworks go hand in hand with the 2020 theme of Reconciliation Week, ‘In This Together.’

“To me Reconciliation Week is about coming together, recognising the mistakes of the past and taking ownership.

“It’s about understanding that, yes, these things did happen and that’s why things are the way they are, but we need to move forward together – that’s the most important thing.
 

 

“I am very proud of being an Aboriginal person, but at the end of the day, I am a human, we are all humans part of the human race.”

Fleming says that although he’s had much interest in his artwork, he didn’t hone his creative side until recently.

“Initially, I didn’t have an artistic bone in my body,” he laughed.

“All throughout high school the only time I did art was when I absolutely had to and as soon as it wasn’t a required subject, I didn’t do it again.”

That was until a year and a half ago, when his role as an Aboriginal Education Officer at a Western Sydney school led to him discovering his creative side.

“My role involves spending time connecting with Indigenous kids, doing a bit of dancing and learning about Aboriginal culture,” he explained.

“But something I noticed was that a lot of the kids struggled with the confidence to dance or to speak in front of people, so I started trying to connect with them in a different way. 

“We’d sit down together, and the kids would say ‘draw me something'.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

End result of our leaf painting the other day 🔥👣🍂🌿

A post shared by paulshowtimefleming (@paulshowtimefleming) on


“I’d just muck around and do some sketches for the kids, but I eventually showed them to an artist friend of mine who has designed some of my boxing uniforms and he was really impressed.

“I started to really enjoy it and it’s become something that I now do with my own kids.”
Fleming says that sharing Aboriginal culture with younger generations is imperative to shaping their sense of self and identity.

“As a kid, I was never really exposed to Aboriginal art or culture but it’s an essential part of your identity and your story,” he explained.

“I’m glad that I get to share it with my kids who can now grow up with a sense of pride knowing exactly who they are and where they come from. I think that’s really important when it comes to building confidence.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Homies

A post shared by paulshowtimefleming (@paulshowtimefleming) on


Liana Buratti

Toolkit launched to help guide return of community sport

Submitted by admin on Mon, 05/25/2020 - 15:04
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Sport Australia has launched a suite of practical resources that focus on giving community sporting clubs and associations a roadmap for the safest return to sport at all levels. 

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Sport Australia’s Return to Sport Toolkit, developed in partnership with Hockey Australia, comes with comprehensive checklists, adaptable COVID-19 safety plans and templates that can be used by sporting organisations at any level.

It is in step with the AIS Framework for Rebooting of Sport in a COVID-19 Environment and the Australian Government’s National principles for the resumption of sport and recreation activities. 

Sport Australia Acting CEO Rob Dalton said the Return to Sport Toolkit is primarily aimed at supporting the safe resumption of community sport, with many clubs and associations reliant on a dedicated workforce of volunteers. 

“The main thing I want to emphasise to all sport and participants is that public health is the most important consideration - advice from your Government health authorities is paramount. I urge all sporting participants not to jump the starting gun without first the consent of your relevant State and Territory Government health authorities,” Dalton said. 

 “Australia’s sporting community is desperately keen to get back in the game and resume playing the sports they love, but we need to ensure that is done in a safe, responsible and low risk manner so that we can keep moving forward towards the full resumption of sport. 

“Sport is extremely lucky to boast the largest volunteer base of any industry in Australia, and it’s fitting that we’re launching the Return to Sport Toolkit in National Volunteer Week. Sport Australia recognises that many of our sporting clubs and associations are led by these wonderful people who now face very complex decisions with limited resources to manage a safe return to sport. 

Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck said: “Sporting clubs and organisations across Australia will play an enormous part in getting the nation back on track as we recover from the impact of COVID-19. “The safe return of competition relies on a responsible rollout where everybody follows advice and takes precautions.

“We have a big challenge ahead of us – but together the National Principles, the AIS framework and Sport Australia’s toolkit offer tangible advice to ensure community sporting groups are prepared to control and deal with the virus in this new era.”

Sport Australia’s Return to Sport Toolkit guides clubs and associations at every level to document their own COVID-19 Safety Plan and appoint a COVID Safety Coordinator to implement and oversee it. As part of the Toolkit, a checklist works through practical and progressive steps such as: relevant approvals from your Government and National Sporting Organisation; facilities management; training behaviours; hygiene protocols; management of illness and; communicating these processes with members. 

“The Toolkit works through four stages of return to sport: Prevent, Prepare, Respond and Recover,” Dalton says. “In the Prevent stage, it concentrates on steps like getting your COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and communicating that with members. Practical steps in the Prepare stage are looking at safe facility practises, like hand-sanitisers, attendance registers at training and limiting shared equipment as much as possible. 

“Sports also need to be prepared for illness management, noting things can change quickly in your local area, which is covered by the Respond and Recover stages. 

“We thank the National Sporting Organisations for their input into this Toolkit, in particular Hockey Australia, and are confident sports will welcome it. But to help your sport return, Sport Australia also calls on everyone involved – participants, coaches, officials, administrators, volunteers, families and the broader community – to take individual responsibility and respect the health of all those around you.

“We know this is a tough time for sport and all Australians. But if we can each commit to getting through this challenging period together, we have every confidence sport will play a prominent role in lifting the nation’s energy and spirits again.”

The Return to Sport Toolkit can be downloaded HERE

Sport Australia

AOC Thanks Olympic Family for supporting Australian community during COVID-19

Submitted by admin on Mon, 05/25/2020 - 08:48
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The Australian Olympic Committee has acknowledged the ongoing support the Olympic family are providing to the Australian community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Olympians have swapped team kit for scrubs to work on the front line, Partners are providing tangible help to assist the Australian community and member sports are helping make sport accessible for people at home.

AOC CEO Matt Carroll said the AOC is proud of the work being done across Australia during the period of lockdown and ongoing into the initial stages of a return to sport.

“Olympic athletes, their sports and our Partners have shown great commitment and spirit to help lift the community during this time as the country stares down this crisis,” Mr Carroll said.

“Olympians like Rachael Lynch, Paul Adams and many others are on the front line as medical workers; our member sports are working with their athletes, staff and community to get through these uncertain times and keep sport accessible for the community; and the Australian Institute of Sport and state institutes have been providing vital advice and information to ensure athletes and sporting groups have stayed safe.

“The AOC is fortunate to have Partners that support not only our Olympic athletes, but have devoted time, energy and practical assistance to the Australian community.”

“Toyota Australia have designed and produced faceshields and cooked and delivered meals for frontline healthcare workers, Woolworths have partnered with hunger relief organisations to help Australian’s in need and vulnerable, and were the first supermarket to introduce special shopping hours for the elderly and Healthcare and Emergency Service workers, and Cadbury has donated $100,000 to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, over 1.6 million Easter eggs to hospitals, paramedics, aged care homes and those in quarantine across the country, as well as a range of food products to Foodbank and SecondBite.

“Swisse has donated funds and products, Optus has increased capacity to keep Australia connected, Qantas is operating vital freight services and ASICS and Danone have introduced free online content series to keep Australians healthy and active. Airbnb’s Frontline Stays program offers places to stay for those fighting the spread of Covid-19. – these are just a snapshot of the tangible work being done across the Olympic Partner family.

“The AOC is grateful to work with Partners who have stepped up in the face of this crisis. Thank you for your support for not only Australian Olympians but the Australian community.” 

Mr Carroll says the AOC looks forward to the time Australians can get back into their sports and Olympic hopefuls can return to full training and competition, helping communities reconnect right across Australia.

“We also understand that we must stick at it when it comes to our social distancing protocols and the Return to Sport Framework the AIS has laid out.

“Australians have shown great patience and resolve, so now is not the time to rush. We need to keep sport and our community safe.” 

Dual Olympic medallist Jess Fox acknowledged the fantastic work being done in the community.

“There are so many athletes doing incredible work, like Jo Brigden-Jones, Georgie Rowe and so many others on the front line – it’s inspiring seeing them throw themselves into something so important,” Fox said.

“This is so much bigger than sport, and it’s inspiring to see the Olympic family contribute to the community, from Toyota making faceshields for frontline workers to trying to keep people engaged and healthy while being safe at home.”

25-year-old canoeist Fox was one of several Australian Olympians encouraging Australians to complete at home fitness challenges with the YoPro challenge.  

“While we’re all adapting to our different routines, it was great to be part of a program to help people get active, make healthy choices and try to find mindfulness while staying at home.

“It’s been so positive seeing so many athletes and organisations jump in to help others however they can, and it makes me proud to be part of the Australian Olympic community.”

Further information on how Olympic Partners are supporting the community is available here

 

AOC supports pause in Queensland Games Candidature

Submitted by admin on Sat, 05/23/2020 - 09:33
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The AOC fully supports the Queensland Government’s position in placing the Brisbane 2032 candidature on hold while Australia deals with the coronavirus crisis.

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AOC President John Coates has confirmed that meetings of the Olympic Candidature Leadership Group (OCLG) scheduled earlier this year were deferred, allowing governments to focus on dealing with COVID-19.

Mr Coates said he’d proposed to OCLG members on March 31 that the meetings would not proceed while all three levels of governments dealt with the pandemic.

In his speech to the AOC Annual General Meeting on May 9, Mr Coates advised that discussions with the IOC on the candidature would resume when appropriate.

“We all understand there are pressing issues of public health and community wellbeing for governments to address. The candidature will have its role to play in terms of jobs and growth in the Queensland economy once we have seen our way through the current crisis,” Mr Coates concluded.

Bronwen Knox on self-discovery and leaving a lasting impact on sport

Submitted by admin on Fri, 05/22/2020 - 13:12
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Bronwen Knox is Australia’s most capped Water Polo player, with three Olympic Games and two Olympic medals under her belt, she also boasts degrees in science, health and law which she plans to use to make an impact on the integrity and equality of sport.

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With almost 400 games for the Aussie Stingers to her name, it’s no surprise that Knox wants to leave a legacy in a sport she has dedicated two decades of her life to.


Her interest in sport led her to study biomedical science on a scholarship in the US, before branching out into the public health sphere and finally, law.

“Initially I was very resistant to getting into law, my dad’s a lawyer and I thought to myself ‘I don’t just want to do what you do,’ but it really surprised me how vast the profession is,” the 34-year-old said.

“I realised it was an area where I can really make a difference and that’s why I love it.”

Due to COVID-19, Knox was unable to complete the practical component of her law degree in person, so instead she worked with the Australian Olympic Committee’s legal department for support to complete it online.

 

“I was completing my practical legal training course and within that there is a four-week placement subject,” she explained.

“I’d already done two weeks before the course was suspended due to COVID-19 so I was looking for a way to complete the rest.

“I spoke with the Olympian Services Manager, Daniel Kowalski and he put me in touch with Sarah Longes, the General Counsel and I spent the majority of my time working remotely with her and also Legal Counsel, Niroshika W. to get my unit completed.”

Along with completing her law degree, Knox is also training towards a fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, a feat not even she expected.

“I wasn’t even sure I was going to keep playing after London 2012, but then after Rio, I thought I was done,” the dual Olympic bronze medallist said.


She had captained the Stingers for three years, but Knox stepped away from the pool in 2016 to focus on her post-sporting career.

“[After Rio] I needed to get other areas of my life sorted and figure out what direction I wanted to head in, because I knew I couldn’t make a living playing my sport," Knox shared.

“I’d won European contracts in the past, but it’s not a profession and definitely not something you could look to retire on, so I spent a lot of that time trying a few different things, doing some self-discovery and networking.

Knox soon discovered she wasn’t ready to leave her Aussie Stingers family and she was back in peak condition to help the Team win bronze at the 2018 FINA World Cup.


“I knew I wasn’t finished playing completely, I just didn’t know to what level I wanted to play at," she said.

“I think stepping away from the sport and not having that pressure of being one of the leaders of the team made me fall in love with the sport again and that's when I knew I wasn't done.

“Now I know I’ve got more left in me and I love being challenged and thinking on my feet. I think that’s the reason I keep coming back - because you never know what someone is going to throw at you and to rise to that challenge is somewhat addictive.”

If selected to her fourth Olympic Team next year, Knox said Tokyo would have a different meaning to her previous Games as she nears retirement.

 

“Any opportunity I get to play with my teammates and represent Australia, is amazing, but Tokyo will be a little bit different for me,” she explained.

“I'm trying to live in the moment and enjoy each time I get to step out and play as though it's going to be my last and that's the way I've approached these last few years because I know that I'm heading into retirement.

“Especially given COVID-19, because I initially didn’t know if Tokyo was going to go ahead and having that reality thrust upon me, I couldn’t believe how upset and emotional it made me, that I could have played my last game with my teammates and I didn’t even know,” she continued.

“So now, I’m just really trying to reinforce that living in the moment and playing every game as it comes and I think that also really releases you from that pressure as well as the fear of failure.”

One area Knox feels strongly about is gender equality in sport.


She started playing water polo at 16 in a boys team because there were no girls teams at her school.

Now, she works with a Brisbane girls’ school to develop their junior water polo program and is an active member of the International Women’s Forum, a Women Athletes’ Business Network Mentoring program.

“Equality for women and girls not just in sport, but in general, is something I am really passionate about,” she said.

“You see women doing the same job and getting paid two-thirds of what a man is getting.

“It’s about breaking down those barriers and giving every opportunity you can to girls and let them know they are worthy.

“I don’t know whether it’s innate, genetic or something that’s taught where girls think they have to sit quietly in the background because when you’re a female who speaks up, you’re considered aggressive rather than assertive.


“I think if we can develop those sorts of things into our grassroots programs we can create these female athletes and women in general who have much more confidence going into battle for what they want.”

Knox is also a presenter and educator for ASADA and says integrity within sport and athlete wellbeing are areas she wants to help improve.

“I’ve started doing a bit of casual work as an education presenter for ASADA and using the lessons I’ve learned and my experience as an athlete to teach athletes about their rights and responsibilities.

“I’ve seen teammates or other athletes retire and they’re a little bit lost because the structure of sport is gone, the support network tends to move on and you can be left floundering for a little bit which can be really damaging to people’s mental health,” Knox explained.

“Losing that pathway, drive and goal at the end can be really hard but it’s a moving space and we’ve taken some great steps moving forward.

 

“The Sports Commission are doing some great things with their mental health referral network and their wellbeing managers who have stepped in.

"A new body, Sports Integrity Australia, is looking to come into power in the middle of this year, so seeing how that is going to impact the sporting world is exciting.

“I just hope to make an impact within the sporting industry and make it better at fostering athletes who are great competitors but also well-rounded individuals.

“When you see these amazing athletes moving away from sport and thriving and building communities into better spaces, it's going to keep building that brand for that sport for years to come. 

“Historically sport has been more about wanting to be the world's best and that's great in the short term, but building these legacies are going to have a longer-lasting impact.”

Liana Buratti