2014 Pierre de Coubertin Awards and Olympic Academy

Victorian students acknowledged with prestigious award

Melbourne Cricket Ground
Sunday May 18, 2014



127 senior secondary school students (of a total 170 Victorian students) were honoured in a special awards ceremony on Sunday May 18 at the MCG.

Named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games, the Pierre de Coubertin Award recognises students who demonstrate academic excellence and sporting prowess whilst exemplifying the Olympic values.

An initiative of the Australian Olympic Committee, the awards are celebrated nationally and hosted by the Victorian Olympic Council and funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The Hon Martin Dixon MP, Minister for Education, presented the awards along with Master of Ceremonies, Nicole Livingstone OAM, 1988, 1992 and 1996 swimming Olympic Silver and dual Bronze Medallist, and David Morris, 2010 and 2014 freestyle skiing Olympic Silver Medallist.

Minister for Education, The Hon Martin Dixon MP, presenting to students.
Minister for Education, The Hon Martin Dixon MP, presenting to guests.

Director of Maribyrnong Sports Academy, Rob Carroll writes about award recipient Jayden Anderson; “Jayden typifies the student-athlete concept at the Academy in terms of character and dedication; overcoming a long term injury on several occasions in the pursuit of his goals in football. He has shown exemplary character throughout and maintains high performance standards in the schools program. Jayden is an exemplary role model to junior students at the school and as one of the Sport House Captains this year, has had significant leadership input to our swimming and athletics carnivals.”    



Emma Grant, Sports Coordinator at Bendigo Senior Secondary College describes award recipient Chelsie Hird as “a focused, highly motivated, versatile athlete and an asset to college teams. In addition to achieving state level honours in a number of school sports, Chelsie has regularly represented Victoria in hockey. Chelsie has shown resilience to face the challenges of living in a remote location to realise her sporting dream. She is a dedicated student who has achieved commendable results. A humble and focused attitude best describes Chelsie.”

Olympic Silver Medallist David Morris inspiring Academy participants.

Every student must complete a literary or artistic piece as part of the nomination process. This year’s theme was; Youth and the future of Olympism in a digital world – how do we engage youth online to be active offline?

The Most Outstanding Artistic piece was from Brooke Bakaric from Mount St Joseph Girls' College. The Most Outstanding Literary piece was from Emily Fitzgerald from Star of the Sea College. 

A further 72 school sport leaders will participate in an Olympic Academy preceding the award ceremony. The academy is an opportunity for Pierre de Coubertin recipients and sport leaders to interact with Olympians, learn about the Olympic Games, the a.s.p.i.r.e Olympic values as well as visit the National Sports Museum at the MCG.

Nicole Livingstone OAM speaking with students about the a.s.p.i.r.e Australian Olympic Team Values.

In the Olympic Spirit, we encourage our recipients and school sport leaders to pass the baton to your fellow pupils and assist your school to carry on the Olympic tradition with next year’s Award nomination.

Olympians in Attendance:

Andrew Collett
2000, 2004 Judo and Victorian Olympic Council Board Member

Ash Brennan
2012, 2008 Gymnastics

David Morris
2010, 2014 Freestyle Skiing Silver Medallist

Kyle Vander-Kuyp
2000, 1996 Athletics

Lara Davenport OAM
2008 Swimming Gold Medallist

Nicole Livingstone OAM
1988, 1992, 1996 Swimming Silver and Dual Bronze Medallist and Victorian Olympic Council Vice President

Pam Kilborn-Ryan AM MBE
1964, 1968, 1972 Athletics Silver and Bronze Medallist

Ray Weinberg AM
1948, 1952 Athletics

Tal Karp
2004 Football

2013 International Pierre de Coubertin Youth Forum - Norway

Further to the 2013 Pierre de Coubertin Award, 2012 and 2013 recipients had the opportunity to nominate to attend the International Pierre de Coubertin Youth Forum.

We congratulate the Victorian delegate, 2012 Pierre de Coubertin award recipient Nick Parkinson from McKinnon Secondary School who was selected by the AOC to join seven other Australian delegates in Norway.

We congratulate all students who applied to attend the forum;

Tess Davies, Academy of Mary Immaculate
Alessandra Maria Pantalone, Ave Maria College
Courtney Scott, Ballarat Clarendon College
Joshua Clough, Ballarat Grammar
Lachlan Tardrew, Bendigo South East College
Ryan Patrick Pinchbeck, Fairhills High School
Johnathon Barrow, FCJ College
Georgia Griffith, Fintona Girls School
Carly Lesha, Greensborough College
Emily Seccull, Haileybury Girls College
Matthew Garvin, Koonung Secondary College
Nicole Green, Lakeside Lutheran College
Samantha Cameron, Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College
Scarlett Parker, Mornington Secondary College
Indya Kirby, Pascoe Vale Girls College
Brad McDonald, Phonix P-12 Community College
Samantha Mabilia, Santa Maria College
Anica Scherer, Sunbury College
Morgan Emily Pitches, Yarrawonga College p-12

An honourable mention to the shortlisted candidates;

Nicholas Kung, Buckley Park College
Nicholas Daniel Smith, Christian Brother College
Charles Arnold Shacklock, Marnebek School
Lucy Kennedy, McKinnon Secondary School
Ashleigh Prior, Rosebud Secondary College
Claudia Maguire, Sacred Heart Girl’s College Oakleigh
Emily O’Shea, Santa Maria College
Scott Puxley, Sunbury Downs Secondary College

Award recipients and nominating teachers can contact Maria (maria.cabeliza@olympics.com.au) for any queries regarding this years photos or next years award ceremony.



Please follow these 5 steps in order to nominate a year 10, 11 or 12 student to receive the Pierre de Coubertin Award.

  1. Visit the Olympic Education website http://education.olympics.com.au/
  2. Sign up (click on the link in the top right corner).
  3. Once you have signed up; login and click on the icon in the top right corner and select Award Nomination. View the award.
  4. Enter all details and press SUBMIT (an acknowledgment screen will appear once submitted).
  5. You will receive an automatic reply email with two attachments:(If you don’t receive this email please contact the VOC via email or phone).

We look forward to receiving your nomination.


What are the Pierre de Coubertin Awards?

The Pierre de Coubertin Awards are named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games and take place on an annual basis to recognise senior secondary students who demonstrate attributes consistent with Olympism through participation and commendable behaviour in sporting activities.

All secondary government and non government schools are invited to nominate one recipient from year 10, 11 or 12 for the Pierre de Coubertin Award each year. Each nominee must participate actively in the school's physical education program with a consistently positive attitude and must have represented the school in a sport.

A piece of original art or literary work (for example: essay, poetry, sculpture, paintings etc) which demonstrates the student’s appreciation and understanding of the Olympic Movement must also be submitted.

Who is Baron Pierre de Coubertin?

Baron Pierre de Coubertin was born in Paris in 1863 and was an active sportsman 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.

His definition of Olympism had four principles that were far from a simple sports competition:

  • To be a religion i.e. to "adhere to an ideal of a higher life, to strive for perfection"
  • To represent an elite "whose origins are completely egalitarian" and at the same time "chivalry" with its moral qualities
  • To create a truce "a four-yearly festival of the springtime of mankind"
  • To glorify beauty by the "involvement of the philosophic arts in the Games"

It is clear that the concept of the Olympic Games is far from a simple sports competition.