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Olympians and Paralympians helping kids to be mentally fit

Olympians and Paralympians helping kids to be mentally fit

Our Australian athletes overcame unprecedented challenges to succeed at the Tokyo Games, now 20 athletes from 16 sports will help children with their own mental health and resilience strategies as part of a national program between the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Black Dog Institute.

Designed to help young people aged between 12 and 16, the AIS Black Dog Mental Fitness Program will be delivered by current and former high performance athletes in schools and community sport organisations around the country.

Following the success of the inaugural program launched in 2020, the new group of ambassadors includes Tokyo Olympian and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Damien Schumann

Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said the Australian Government was proud to invest in AIS wellbeing and community engagement programs.

“We know the positive influence athletes can have – they inspire and motivate us,” Minister Colbeck said.

“So it’s wonderful to see these athletes spreading positive messages of mental health and resilience with school-aged children who are dealing with the increased pressures associated with the pandemic.

“As we saw during the highly successful Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, Australians take great pride and inspiration from our athletes.

“I commend those leaders who are now sharing their stories and experiences through the AIS Black Dog Mental Fitness Program. You are making a difference.”

AIS Director of People Development and Wellbeing Matti Clements says the AIS is proud to partner with the Black Dog Institute to deliver this important community outreach program.

“Not only does this program help our young people build their mental fitness and resilience, but it also provides our high performance athletes an opportunity to meaningfully connect with their community and learn personal and professional skills that will help them during their sporting careers and beyond.”

Schools and community sport organisations interested in a free AIS Black Dog Mental Fitness Presentation from one of the athlete presenters can submit a request via the AIS website.

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