Athletes converge for Champ Camp

11 Aug 2014

Caitlin Moran receives her Olympic kit ©

 TEAM: The best of the nation’s young athletes descend on Sydney tomorrow for Champ Camp, a day designed to provide a comprehensive insight into Olympic Team values and culture, media skills and anti-doping matters prior to the upcoming second summer Youth Olympic Games.

Eighty-nine Australian teenagers will compete across 23 sports, when the YOG commences in Nanjing on Saturday 16 August.

The Champ Camp is the first time the athletes will come together as a Team and meet their fellow teammates. An exciting moment will be when the Olympic hopefuls receive their official uniform for the YOG.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) is ensuring every young athlete is properly prepared for the challenges that lay ahead when competing in a multi-sport environment.

During the one-day Champ Camp, athletes will participate in three briefing sessions before being sent off in style at a Team Farewell function where the Team Flag Bearer will be named.

The first is a Team values and culture session, called ACTIVE A.S.P.I.R.E. The session is led by 2012 Olympian Andrew Grant and features video messages from Olympic medallists Kim Crow, Steve Hooker, Cate Campbell and Ken Wallace. The session explains the A.S.P.I.R.E. values, the soul of any Australian Team when competing at an Olympic Games and highlights the prestige of wearing the green and gold at an international sporting event.

The second session, a media skills briefing will provide an insight into Games time media operations and coverage as well as educate the athletes about how to perform at your best, not only on the sporting field but also in front of the media.

Finally the young athletes will participate in an anti-doping education session. For many it will be the first time they have experienced any sort of drug testing and so the athletes will be educated about the risks and ramifications associated with the use of performance enhancing drugs as well as given a demonstration of an actual drug test. They will also be informed about the IOC Anti-doping Rules and the WADA code.

The day culminates with the Team Farewell, a celebration of Chinese culture and the pride of the green and gold. Chef de Mission Susie O’Neill will address the young athletes while Australian Olympic champion coach Laurie Lawrence will deliver an inspirational address.

The highlight of the event will be the announcement of the Team Flag Bearer – the naming of the person who will carry Australian Flag at the Opening Ceremony on Saturday 16 August.

The 2014 AYOT departs Sydney International Airport on Wednesday 13 August. Day One of competition commences on Sunday 17 August, allowing the Team plenty of time to familiarise themselves with the Olympic environment, before they hopefully start to bring home plenty of gold.

Frances Cordaro