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News

AOC reveals 'new direction' to use Olympic success to get more Aussies physically active

Matt Carroll, CEO of the Australian Olympic Committee, has said the organisation will take a 'new direction', which will include using the power of sport to inspire more young Australians to get into physically active.

Outlining his vision for the future of elite Australian sport during a speech at the National Press Club in Canberra, Carroll revealed the AOC would adopt "a new role and vision".

"Our role will be to provide athletes the opportunity to excel at the Olympic Games – but also to promote the values of Olympism and benefits of participation in sport to all Australians," he said.

"Our vision will be to ensure Australians are inspired by the spirit of Olympic sport.

"In practice, this means that we’re not here just to help Australia participate in the Olympic Games. We don’t just organise the gear, pay for the flights, support the athletes on the ground, then get everyone home safely.

"The Olympic Charter drives our commitment to encourage more Australians to play sport, regardless of their age, or background, or what job they have."

Carroll added that one of the first initiatives to take off under the new approach would be a programme to get Olympic athletes visiting schools in order to inspire future generations.

"By working with State and Territory Governments and corporate Australia, we have an ambitious aim to reach and influence nearly 4 million Australian students across 9,400 schools," he said

"Under the Olympics Unleashed banner, we will take Olympians and Paralympians into classrooms so kids hear first-hand from champions about what they’ve learned during the twists and turns of their personal and sporting journey.

"That success is almost never a straight road, that overcoming failure is learnt along the way.

Teachers have told us that the physical presence of Olympians at schools helps students build self-esteem – such a critical thing when we see the rise of mental health issues across Australia.

"This is using the spirit of the Olympics and our Olympians to inspire the kids of Australia to be their best.

"But the Olympic Games are not just another sporting event – If we do our job properly, through the Games, we will ensure that more Australians will be engaged and inspired to participate in sport and benefiting from that involvement.

"It will also mean that more children will find their way away from a screen, off a couch, inspired by an athletes’ journey to the Games.

"Under our new direction, we are listening to and working with our member sports with an even greater focus on the people who really matter, the athletes."

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