Rachel Crothers, of the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens squad, visited students at Brindabella Christian College in Canberra to celebrate Olympic Day 2015, an internationally recognised celebration of the Olympic Movement.
The Australian Olympic Committee supports Olympic Day by promoting healthy and active lifestyles to the youth of Australia by encouraging National Federation involvement and arranging Olympian school visits.
This year, the AOC and Australian Rugby Union combined efforts to promote the Olympic movement at Brindabella Christian College, while also launching the ARU’s Rugby’s new schools program which links in with the Australia Sports Commission program ‘Sporting Schools’ which helps provide sporting opportunities for schools around the country.
Crothers’ spoke to students about the Olympic Games and her dreams to be selected on the 2016 Australian Olympic Team which she said would be an incredible honour.
“It seems a bit surreal right now, but hopefully I do get to run out on that pitch and fulfil my Olympic dream.”
Crothers grew up on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland where she was a beach sprint and flags specialist at Alexandra Headland SLSC.
After being head-hunted from touch rugby, Crothers moved to Sydney to train full time with the Australian rugby sevens program at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen.
Crothers’ told students at Brindabella that it was her speed that drew the attention of the Women’s sevens selectors, and that her speediness was her special skill on the field.
Having qualified a spot at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games after the recent 2014/15 Women's Sevens World Series, Crothers’ said the Australian women’s seven squad now have their eyes fixed firmly on the prize of an Olympic medal.
“We remember that every training session now will show results out on the pitch in 2016,” she said.
Crothers’ said like many other Australians her favourite Olympic memory was watching Cathy Freeman win her gold medal in the 400m at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
“I remember watching that race when I was six year old, and I still get goosebumps when I watch it now,” she said.
But it was not Freeman’s pure athleticism and sporting brilliance that Crothers’s remembers about that race, but rather what that moment in sporting history did for Australia as a whole.
“My favourite part about that moment was that she become an iconic for National unity and brought us all together.”
On her visit to Brindabella Christian College, Crothers’ and staff members at the ARU ran students through the various Rugby drills and skills of the GAME ON program which aligns with national school curriculum and promotes fair play, diversity, inclusivity and a healthy lifestyle.
The non-contact version of 7s (VIVA7s) allows everyone to play and is a great way to get a taste for Rugby and learn important skills to help pave the way for students to lead a physically active, healthy lifestyle.
Brindabella students were able to learn skills through fun activities, building their confidence and competence to be able to participate in a format of Rugby with their friends.
Crothers’ messages to students around Australian on Olympic Day was to get as active and involved in sports tournaments and activities as they possibly can.
“I never expected to be playing Rugby Sevens for Australia, but there are so many pathways so just get involved!”
To support Olympic Day 2015 follow the Australian Olympic Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the handle @AusOlympicTeam, and post your own photos using the hashtag #OlympicDay
Source: Australian Olympic Committee