Dual athlete and Paris Olympics hopeful Jessica Borg will return home to Bundaberg to inspire the next generation to unleash their potential through primary school visits.
Jess is currently ranked number one in Australia in the female -57kg division in Taekwondo, and she has just qualified as an amateur boxer.
Jess will share her journey in elite sport, motivating and inspiring the young students at Kalkie State School, Bundaberg East State School, Moore Park Beach State School and Gooburrum State School, to chase their own dreams as part of the Australian Olympic Committee’s Olympics Unleashed program, next week.
Jess grew up in the Bundaberg Region, attending Moore Park Beach State School, and she is excited to return to the community that inspired her to follow her dreams.
Olympics Unleashed program shares personal experience
Throughout her Olympics Unleashed program presentation, Jess will pass on tips to help students find their passion, set goals, build resilience and overcome challenges.
“I am really keen to come home and share my experience and engage with young children,” Jess said.
“I’m actually pretty excited as we didn’t really have this guidance, that I remember, from aspiring Olympians when I was in primary.
“This is about giving inspiration to the kids to prove that no matter what they are passionate about, it doesn’t have to be sport, if they find balance in life, they can pursue their dreams.”
Jess will share her personal achievements and journey telling the students how she has had to overcome challenges to be where she is today.
“Back in 2007, I was diagnosed with a low muscle tone disorder,” she said.
“At the time I was struggling with the things the average child could do – I couldn’t even pull myself up on the swings at school.
“The doctors told my parents I either needed to start swimming, which I already was, or get into martial arts.
“Fortunately, we knew Mario Rejtano … and he said to my parents: ‘bring her to me and I will fix her!’
“I had zero talent whatsoever, and I knew it was going to be tough, but my mindset was to get involved.
“Unfortunately, Mario passed away in 2009, but he taught me so much and really inspired me to pursue my dreams.”
Now some 15 years later, as a 23-year-old, Jess is smashing goals with her eyes set on the prize of qualifying for the Paris Olympics next year.
“I share my lows and highs through my career with the students, including mental health, which I think is important at that age,” she said.
“I think for a young person to hear first hand the real life experience, including when it comes to mental health and how important it can be to have support around you to help you get out of that low.
“A big highlight for me in taking part in the Olympics Unleashed program is having the opportunity to go out to the regional areas and speak to people from a perspective of someone who has been where they are – I think it's heard different that way.
“I say to the children, ‘show me a kick’ and they are so engaged and happy.
“The questions they ask also are great, it really is inspiring in itself to be there with them.”
Olympics Unleashed takes Olympians and aspiring Olympians into Australian schools to inspire and motivate students to be their personal best.
Queensland was the first state to receive the benefit of the Olympics Unleashed program, launching in 2018.
Since then more than 1,000 schools have been visited with more than 150,000 young Queenslanders coming face to face with Olympians in their classroom.
Local schools are encouraged to register here for more information on how to be involved.
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