PICTURES: Athletes share Olympic tales

NINE Australian Olympians went back to school on Wednesday.

Athletes from across six different sports coached more than 100 students from Bendigo South East Secondary College, Eaglehawk and Weeroona Colleges.

The special visit was a Victorian Olympic Council initiative. 

Bendigo Spirit star Kristi Harrower, who won three Olympic silver medals and one bronze, took part in the school's activities. 

She was joined by four-time basketball Olympian Mark Bradke.

The pair held a workshop for students who were interested in playing the sport. 

Former Socceroo Josip Skoko played mini-games alongside youngsters on the Bendigo South East soccer pitch. 

Tamsin Hinchley, who donned the green in gold in indoor and beach volleyball, offered tips to students. 

Badminton players Peter Blackburn and Murray Hocking, hockey bronze medallist Andrew Smith and four-time table tennis Olympian Jian Fang Lay also took part in the active sports day.

Australian marathon legend Steve Moneghetti was also a part of the special visit. 

The Olympian said it was important for some of Australia’s best athletes to spend time with students.

“It is nice that our expertise can be passed on, these kids are the future and if we can have an impact on them and show them we are giving back then maybe they can follow in our footsteps,” Moneghetti said.  

“It is about trying to make a difference.”

Moneghetti, who was appointed the Chef de Mission for the Australian team, ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Games, said he had given a talk to the year eight students about what is expected of an Olympian.

“We talked about the values of Olympians and then they did an hour and a half clinic in a specific sport,” he said.  

“It was more of a technical clinic where they learned some skills and then in the afternoon they got more exposure to all sports

“The students mixed and mingled with Olympians all day.

“Hopefully they get more of an idea of what is involved to be at the top level of their sport and what the benefits are to stay involved.” 

Moneghetti said basketballer Kristi Harrower was a student favourite.

“She is a local legend,” he said.

“These kids would usually see her in competition mode so it is good to see her in this environment.

“She would have spent 20 years on courts like this doing the same drills she is teaching the kids.”

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