Aussie eight to represent at the International Youth Pierre de Coubertin Forum

Olympic rings

EDUCATION: With the world at their feet, eight outstanding secondary students have been selected to represent Australia at the 11th International Pierre de Coubertin Forum in Ülenurme, Estonia, August 19 – 27.

The students, four boys and four girls, were selected from 450 pupils across Australia that received the Pierre de Coubertin award in 2017.

The award criteria required students to have represented their school in at least one sport in the Olympic program and participate in at least two other sports, embodying the spirit of the Olympic Games and de Coubertin’s famous vision of “taking part rather than aiming to win.”

The Pierre de Coubertin Award is named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games and recognises senior secondary students who demonstrate attributes consistent with Olympism through participation and commendable behaviour in sporting activities.

The Australian students will form one of 30 delegations from 27 countries and five continents, including Great Britain, Kenya, Norway, Switzerland, France, and Mexico to name a few.

The Forum, held every two years, involves organising sports events, leading discussion groups and coordinating group activities, as well as participating for the Coubertin Award. The motto of this year’s Youth Forum is “Kalokagathia - the harmony of body, will and mind!”

The participants of the 11th Youth Forum will have the chance to visit Estonia and to learn more about the young Baltic Republic, enjoying the beauty of the landscape, while also creating friendships with the young people in Ülenurme.

The students are excited and overwhelmed about their upcoming adventures.

“I am looking forward to meeting young people with a passion for sport from all around the globe and understanding how we, as future leaders, can have an impact on the future of sport and the Olympics,” said Rebecca Rusinovic –Year 12 Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School.

“I feel so honoured to be selected to represent Australia and also my hometown of Thredbo in the NSW Snowy Mountains. I’m looking forward to this amazing experience, especially visiting Estonia and making new friendships from Australia and around the world,” said Mackenzie Diver –Year 12 Snowy Mountains Grammar School.

“I am looking forward learning about their culture and hopefully teaching some about our Australian culture. To be honest it came as a bit of a shock, but I am really looking forward to it and it was an honour to even be considered to represent Australia,” said Sam Smith – Year 11 Canberra College.

More than 15,500 young Australians have received the Pierre de Coubertin Award since its inception in 1993 including Olympic representatives and everyday sports people.

Previous International Youth Forum representative Lauren Tomasi said her trip to Greece in 2009 is one she’ll remember forever.

“I received the opportunity of a lifetime when I travelled to Olympia, Greece - home of the Olympics, for the Pierre de Coubertin Award. It was the most eye opening experience; one that eight years on, I reflect on often.

“It was one of the most incredible experiences and I am sure it will be the same for this year’s team” she said.

Travelling with the students is triple Olympic swimmer Belinda Hocking, AOC Vice President Helen Brownlee and Olympic Education and Media Manager Ash Knight.

Participants list:
• Bailey Bugg – Arthur Phillip High School, Sydney NSW
• James Laven – Lilydale High School, Melbourne VIC
• Mackenzie Diver – Snowy Mountains Grammar School, Jindabyne NSW
• Miela Goodchild – Morton Bay College, Brisbane QLD
• Nicholas Newton – Good Shepherd Lutheran College, Noosa QLD
• Raigan Kettle – Launceston College, Launceston TAS
• Rebecca Rusinovic - Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School, Melbourne VIC
• Sam Smith – Canberra College, Canberra ACT