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Nestlé-AIS school program The Good Village inspiring future athletes

01 November 2021

Tokyo bronze medallist rower Cameron Girdlestone believes The Good Village, an online health and physical education program developed in partnership between the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Nestlé, is helping inspire the next generation of athletes.

Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists Jack Cleary, Caleb Antill, Cameron Girdlestone and Luke Letcher
Australia's Tokyo Olympics bronze medal-winning quad sculls rowing team Jack Cleary, Caleb Antill, Cameron Girdlestone and Luke Letcher. Photo: Getty Images

The Good Village design competition was created to challenge kids across Australia to imagine and create a sustainable and accessible village for athletes to train, eat, rest, connect and play in, as they prepared to compete on the world stage.

“When I was judging I would put myself in their virtual village that they had created. The winners had a great ability to think outside the box and it was very good in terms of the detail in the explanations outlining their design,” Cameron said.

“All the students embraced their creativity in technology or arts and crafts, and it was amazing to see the thought that went into it. I was so impressed by the entries, and it was awesome seeing how creative they could be.”

“It’s all giving boys and girls the opportunity to reach their full potential and inspire them. When you think of Brisbane 2032 and beyond, they are the kids that will be there and wearing the green and gold for years to come.”

As well as being a two-time Olympian and winning bronze in Tokyo, Cameron is also a PDHPE teacher and is passionate about themes raised of health and nutrition, community connections and sustainability, and giving kids an understanding of the needs of professional athletes.

“The success of the program is how it was closely aligned with the Tokyo Olympic Games which has been fantastic,” Cameron said.

“The Good Village program caters to the values of the Olympic Games and the importance of physical activity, community, sustainability, and engagement, all of which I think are great messages for young primary school kids.”

Nestlé Australia’s partnership with the AIS has been extended for its 21st year and Cameron is excited to continue his role supporting The Good Village initiative as an AIS Athlete Ambassador.

“The Nestlé partnership with the AIS is a long-standing, strong relationship and at the core it’s about physical activity, wellbeing and community. The role that plays is very important to me, which is why I put my hand up to be an ambassador,” Cameron said.

“If athletes like myself can act as role models for the next generation, I think it’s really important to give back to our sporting nation. That’s why we have such rich sporting history, because there’s so many wonderful stories of athletes giving back and there’s no better place to be able to do that then with the home of sport, the AIS, with Nestlé supporting that.”

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