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Working With Elite Athletes: Schools

Elite athletes can bring huge benefits to schools and their students, and in ways that many teachers and educators may not have considered.

Many hold the misguided view that elite athletes are inaccessible or ‘too expensive’ for their school budget. This isn’t the case. In our experience, most athletes enjoy the opportunity to work with and inspire young people, and factor that into their overall consideration of the opportunity request from a school (which can have little to do with the size of the budget on offer).

But traditionally, getting your request in front of athletes has been quite difficult and often limited to the connections you have within your school network. Not anymore.

Secondly, elite athletes can contribute to student engagement, school event programs and even the curriculum in a number of different ways. Browse stars your school can work with

Why would a school book an athlete?

  1. They understand what it takes to stay committed to a common goal Athletes make sacrifices on their journey to success to fulfil their set goal, through dedication, diet and perseverance. Whatever your goal may be, the qualities you need in order to achieve them will be similar to those of an athlete. These examples and stories give every day people the inspiration and confidence to overcome challenges.

  2. The odds of becoming a professional athlete are small Not everyone can do it. The percentage of people who go pro isn’t high. Elite athletes have done a range of things to succeed at the highest level and set themselves apart from the crowd. Some of these factors include overcoming adversity, putting in the extra work, dealing with emotions and inner strength. These become natural traits for an athlete.

  3. They understand what it is to be apart of a team Being involved in a team is second nature to an athlete, who can relate to the concept of teamwork like no other, as it is apart of their daily routine. At some point, all of us will be in a team and need to work together to achieve a common goal; elite athletes can teach us what we need to understand, practice and implement in order to achieve success together. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan There is no denying that elite athletes have important traits along with some remarkable stories we can learn from.

Now there is a way for every school staff member to easily and affordably access over 1300+ Australian Sports Talent.

  1. Simply submit your request - include the event or activity you are running and how much budget you have

  2. The system will then pair you with the best athletes that match your brief!

  3. Athletes who are interested and available will apply & you book your favourite.

Here are five recommended ways for schools to engage with elite athletes.

While the possibilities of how you can engage with athletes at your school, here are some of the most popular ways.

1. School presentation night

Whether it’s academic or on the sporting field, students love being publicly rewarded for effort. And the experience of the reward is even greater when they get to shake hands and have a selfie with a sports star.

Elite athletes regularly attend presentation nights, often kicking off the event with an inspirational story from their own career, before helping present awards. It makes a great night even more special for students, and this was certainly the case for Holy Spirit College in Queensland, who were recently treated to a visit from Olympic Swimmers Cate and Bronte Campbell at their sports awards presentation ceremony.

2. Skills clinic or coaching

Engaging a sports star to run a skills clinic or take over a training session as a ‘guest coach’ is a great way motivate young athletes. Students will also gain insights about what it takes to be a truly ‘elite’ athlete and what’s required to perform at the highest level of sport.

3. Motivational speaker

Elite athletes make powerful motivational speakers. Many have had to overcome all kinds of challenges and pressures to get to where they are in sport.

Mark Knowles, Olympic gold medalist and captain of Australia’s men’s hockey team, recently wrote about the powerful impact that athletes are having in schools on topics such as leadership, resilience, high performance, health and fitness and life balance.

And ‘motivational’ doesn’t always mean ‘biggest name’ athletes. There are many paralympians and other lesser-known athletes who have truly remarkable stories that students will never forget. Chloe Molloy has a remarkable story discovering her true passion and deciding what path in life to take.

Paralympian Katrina Webb with school students

4. Pastoral care program/workshop

The same topics and themes apply to pastoral care programs and workshops, but instead of the one-way communication of a speech, students get the opportunity to actively engage with an athlete. This means asking questions, talking about specific challenges and getting feedback.

Many athletes have readymade workshops that can be plugged into a school program, or can easily adapt to existing curriculum requirements (e.g. health).

North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell

5. Student rewards/incentives

Teachers are often looking for unique ways to motivate and reward students. Why not create an unforgettable experience, based around a star athlete? That experience could be anything imaginable – a personal mentoring session or meeting between student with an athlete, a tour of a professional training facility guided by an athlete, a one-on-one coaching session – it’s up to you.

Want to find out more about booking a sports star? Send PickStar an email with your contact details and we’ll be in touch.

PickStar is Australia’s largest marketplace to connect with elite athletes past and present for any kind of event, campaign or experience.

Choose from 1800+ sports stars, any budget, any location. Find out more.

Read Part 1: How companies can work with sports stars

Read Part 3: How sports clubs can work with sports stars

Read Part 4: How fans can work with sports stars

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