Summer and Winter Olympic athletes travel to outback Australia to inspire future athlete generations
Over a three-day period Olympic athletes Nina Kennedy (Pole Vault) and Nick Timmings (Skeleton) traveled from Kununurra to Wyndham, Western Australia (WA) sharing their Olympic journeys with more than 350 community members.
Traveling through the outback communities in the Kimberly region of WA, our two Olympians visited six communities across 900km of land, connecting with locals as part of the Olympics Unleashed program, supported by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
The program's goal is to encourage young Australians to pursue their interests, whether that be in the classroom, on the playing field, or at home. Olympians meet with local communities to share valuable life lessons, such as how to persevere when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Kennedy found her experience on the trip to be amazing and meaningful to meet the kids and learn about their culture.
“One of the main things I really tried to push to the kids was to follow your dreams. I told a few stories about my career and the ups and downs I had,” said Kennedy.
“The first World Championships I went to, I came last. Seven years later I won bronze at the same event. There are ups and downs and you need to build resilience and have the perseverance to reach any goal.”
“I dreamed of going to the Olympics as a little girl. If you stick with your goals and build that belief in yourself, amazing things can happen.”
As for Winter Olympian, Timmings found himself far away from his usual ice tracks in the northern hemisphere. Timmings not only found the trip inspirational but also was able to learn so much personally.
“Some lessons from my Olympic journey are that not all times are going to be easy - there can be tough times, where you need to dig inside. When you focus on why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll find strength and be able to keep following your passion.
“Hopefully the kids we’ve been able to visit will come away with belief in themselves – and realise that trying new opportunities is so important, I hope they grasp them when they arrive.”
With Olympians and aspiring athletes set to visit the MidWest, Peel and Great Southern regions over the next five months, more young Western Australians are set to share in the Olympic spirit.
The Confederation of Australian Sport congratulates Nina and Nick for the work they have done to inspire the next generation of Australians in all aspects of their lives.
Image courtesy of the AOC