Olympians help promote sports participation

By Matthew Sims

Maribyrnong Sports Academy [MSA] student-athletes had a once-in-a-lifetime dream realized on Thursday, June 23: playing sports with three Australian Olympians.

As part of Olympic Day celebrations, Australian Olympic Committee [AOC] representatives, Tokyo bronze boxing medallist Harry Garside, triple Olympian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff and MSA alumni and Tokyo badminton Olympian Gronya Somerville were on hand to launch Have a Go month during Olympic Day on Thursday, as well as the 10-year countdown to the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.

AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said Have a Go month was a way to encourage the nation’s future Olympic athletes to try out a new sport.

“Have a Go month encourages all Australians to try their hand at an Olympic sport,” he said.

“With 45 member sports that suit all experience and capability levels, there truly is an Olympic sport for everyone.

“Olympic sport has wide-ranging benefits, from playing a crucial role in promoting physical and mental wellbeing, to building harmonious communities, enhancing personal development and creating national pride.”

Garside played basketball and volleyball with the Maribyrnong Sports Academy student-athletes and said it was important to try every sport to see where your passions lie.

“Who knows, kids out there having a go at a new sport today might be up there representing Australia in Brisbane in a decade,” he said.

MSA director Mark McAllion said with a number of alumni becoming Australian Olympians, hosting the launch of Have a Go month during Olympic Day was exciting.

“The Olympic Games is something that is very close to our hearts,” he said.

“This program is Victoria sport’s hidden gem.”

The AOC also launched a 10-year digital time capsule, which encourages Australians, in particular school students, to record and share their ideas on how they want to be a part of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games, from competing, to coaching, part of the medical team, performing at the Opening Ceremony, designing and building key infrastructure and volunteering.

Details: www.olympics.com.au/have-a-go

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