The fifth Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) held from 14 – 18 January 2009 was a great success! A total of 1,409 athletes from 30 nations participated across 17 sports which included 525 Australian (and State representatives). The athletes were supported by 550 team officials and support staff.
The sports competition for the 2009 AYOF included: archery, athletics, basketball, beach volleyball, canoe/kayak, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, hockey, rowing, shooting, swimming, triathlon and water polo.
For highlights of each of the sports, click here>>>
The 2009 AYOF Ambassador Program included many high profile Australian Olympians from each sport on the AYOF program. The ambassadors volunteered their time to mentor the AYOF athletes, stayed in the villages, attended training and competition as they shared their experiences and stories. This program is an integral part of the AYOF experience and all the young athletes enjoy the interaction with their Olympic heroes.
The AYOF Opening Ceremony was held in the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Wednesday 14 January 2009. The total audience number was almost 6,500 providing a fantastic atmosphere to the event.
Welcome speeches were presented by the AOC President, John Coates AC, the AOC’s Athletes’ Commission Chair, James Tomkins OAM and the official opening announced by Lisbeth Trickett OAM, member of the AOC Athletes’’ Commission.
The Opening Ceremony was once again produced by The Arts Unit of the NSW Department of Education and Training which included performances by NSW Public School students from the successful Schools Spectacular. Olympic style elements were presented included: the Parade of Athletes, Flag Raising, igniting the AYOF cauldron and the athletes’ and officials’ oath. Each National Federation participating in the 2009 AYOF nominated young Australian athletes to participate in the aforementioned activities. The honour of lighting the cauldron was bestowed to Breanna Appel from Water Polo.