Pierre de Coubertin
The Pierre de Coubertin Awards are named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games. The Awards take place on an annual basis and recognise senior secondary students who demonstrate values which are consistent with the Olympic Movement through participation in sporting activities.
All secondary government and non government schools are invited to nominate one recipient for the Pierre de Coubertin Award each year from year 11 or 12 (Year 10 if Central Schools). In 2012 hundreds of students were honored to receive the prestigious award with London Olympic medallists and former award winners Kaarle McCulloch (pictured above), Nina Curtis and Jess Fox some of many athletes on hand to celebrate the achievement with the recipients.
Each nominee must participate actively in the school’s physical education program with a consistently positive attitude. At some stage during years 8-12 the nominee must have represented the school in at least one sport on the current Olympic program and participated in at least two other sports (individual or team).
A piece of original literary/artistic work (for example – poetry, songs, paintings etc) which illustrates the student’s appreciation of the Olympic Movement must also be submitted. The State Olympic Councils, under the auspice of the Australian Olympic Committee, coordinate the Awards program. The award recipients are recognised in a presentation during Olympic Week, or at another occasion organised by the SOC.
The pinnacle of the Awards is the opportunity to represent Australia at the International Pierre de Coubertin Youth Forum. The Forum occurs every two years and only eight Australian students from over 700 award recipients are selected to attend. The last Forum took place in August 2011 in Beijing, China.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin was born in Paris in 1863 and was personally involved in fencing, rowing and cycling. His visits to British “public” schools resulted in a lifelong interest in trying to get the heavily academic French schools to take up more sports-oriented curricula. As an educational theorist, de Coubertin was convinced of the importance of sport for the development of the individual.
He believed that the qualities of initiative, teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play should be encouraged in young people who participated in sports and competitive games.