School children in Australia’s Top End are among an estimated 2,400 students who will be visited this year by some of the nation’s top Para-athletes as part of Paralympics Australia’s ‘Be Your Greatest’ Roadshow.

Three-time Commonwealth Games Para-athletics medallist and Paralympian Eliza Ault-Connell and two-time Paralympian, goalball player Jenny Blow will visit six schools in the Darwin area this week (15-18 March) to talk about Para-sport, the Paralympic Games and challenge the students’ perceptions and attitudes towards people with an impairment.

The ‘Be Your Greatest’ Roadshow is the school visit component of Paralympics Australia’s Paralympic Education Program, which is presented by Australian Beef.

“We’re visiting a wide range of schools on our visit to Darwin,” said Blow, who is also Paralympics Australia’s Education Manager.

“We’ll be going to both secondary and primary schools from all education sectors including government and independent schools, along with schools and units for students with disabilities. It’s always really exciting to share our stories with the students and demonstrate our sports. The reactions we’ve had over the course of the program have been really positive.

“The students listen attentively and ask some great questions. I think it’s a very positive way to bring Para-sports into the classroom and encourage the students to think about inclusion and diversity.”

Related: Keen for a Paralympian to visit your school? Register now!

School visits were run remotely due to Covid-19 last year, with 16 virtual classrooms reaching over 700 students. However, with restrictions eased, Tokyo-bound Para-athletes are pleased to be able to return to face-to-face interaction with school groups.

The ‘Be Your Greatest’ Roadshow is set to visit 40 schools in 2021, with bookings already taken in every state. Six visits have been completed so far, in NSW and Victoria. A virtual classroom has been held this year, as well, for students at the International School of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which was attended by 360 students, via Zoom.

Each Roadshow consists of three sections: a Para-sport demonstration, an athlete presentation and question-and-answer session, and an optional ‘Get Kids Cooking’ class.

After Darwin, the Roadshow will head to Newcastle for visits to Wallsend, Shortland and Hamilton North Primary Schools between March 29 and 31.

* Lesson plans are linked to the Australian Curriculum and do not require any specialist equipment to be provided by the school.

By: David Sygall, Paralympics Australia
Posted: 15 March 2021