Could these athletes be the Murraylands’ next Olympians?

Last month high school students – who had achieved success in their respective sporting areas of interest – received the Pierre de Coubertin award. 

Nominated students were invited to attend the SA Olympic Academy Day and Award presentation and were given the opportunity to meet Olympians and learn about the International Olympic movement.

The prestigious award is presented to students who exemplify values consistent with the Olympic movement through their active participation in sporting activities. 

Among those students were Jai Fielke, Unity College, Mitchell Heward, Mannum Community College along with Aiden Holland from Swan Reach Area School. 

A teacher must nominate for the award someone they regard as a positive example and who approaches sport with a consistently positive attitude.

Head of senior school at Unity College, Corrin Townsend, said year 10 student Jai had been nominated for the award due to his success with cycling.

“Jai has excelled in cycling and he trains very hard each week for it,” Mrs Townsend said.

“He’s been absolutely passionate about the sport and it wouldn’t surprise me if he went to the Olympics in the future. 

“He’s been very involved in pedal prix and mentoring the younger students as well as competing at a national level in cycling.”

Jai told The Standard he took up cycling around two years ago, and his passion for the sport has grown since.

“I sat down with Mrs Townsend and had to tell her about what I had achieved and where I wanted to go with cycling and from there it was up to the committee to decide who would be given the award,” he said.

Mitchell Heward’s mother Jo Heward said her son’s nomination resulted due to his participation in all aspects of his local football club, as well as his leadership duties at school – he is a house captain.

“As well as playing football for the local club, Mitch is also heavily involved in coaching and mentoring side of things,” she said.

“He has also been involved in community events through the football club, including Sounds by the River.”

Earlier this year Swan Reach student Aiden Holland expressed his goal to be drafted to the AFL in 2020 after he was awarded a scholarship from the Adelaide Crows.