October 28, 2021

October 28, 2021


“People who reach the top of what they do are no different to any (young Australian) today . . .  we have all had our fears, our doubts and our setbacks, but we decided to keep going. Keep moving forward, even if it is with tiny little steps. And you know what? One day you might just get there.” -  Cate Campbell OAM, four-time Olympian, five-time Olympic medallist, four-time world champion

Five of Australia’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes have shared stories of their personal journeys – tales of their tragedies and triumphs – at an inspiring online event designed to lift the spirits of school-aged children in NSW who were severely impacted by COVID lockdowns.

Hundreds of children from schools across Greater Sydney and Western NSW joined the webinar produced by the Minerva Network in conjunction with Business Western Sydney.

Three-time Olympic gold medallist swimmer Cate Campbell, UEFA Champions League Winner and PFA Women's Footballer of the Year Ellie Carpenter, two-time Paralympic gold medallist Madison de Rozario, two-time Olympic diving medallist Melissa Wu and two-time rowing world championship medallist Georgie Rowe all spoke at the webinar, appropriately titled Shooting For The Stars.

With words from the heart, the athletes reached out to the next generation of young Australians . . . urging them to stay true to themselves, to learn to be resilient so they are better able to cope with the challenges of everyday life, and to chase their dreams.

Matildas superstar Ellie Carpenter has returned to Australia for the first time in almost two years as a result of the challenges of COVID and was a standout when the Matildas took on highly-rated Brazil in a two-match international series at Western Sydney’s CommBank Stadium, resulting in a win and a draw for the Matildas.

“We made history at the Olympics, we’re really proud of our team, and we’re so excited to play on home soil this week and thank all of our fans for sticking with us,” Ellie told the webinar audience.

The interactive online event was hosted by prominent sports presenter Stephanie Brantz. It was sponsored by insurance company GIO, part of the Suncorp Group.

The official welcome was delivered by NSW Minister for Sport, Natalie Ward MLC.

Minerva Network Chairman Christine McLoughlin AM said of the five star athletes, “They each inspire me for different reasons and in different ways,” and urged the teenagers in the audience to “take a moment to reflect on why you have joined today’s webinar, what you have achieved and what your future holds. When you find your purpose you will find your goal.”

Mim Haysom, Executive General Manager, Brand & Marketing, Suncorp Group, and Brooke Atkins,  Executive Leader at The Y NSW were also part of the Shooting For The Stars event.