Young Equestrians came face to face with their heroes on the opening day of competition of the NSW Interschools Championships as participants joined two of Australia’s leading riders to celebrate Olympic Day.
There was no denying Stuart Tinney and Shane Rose’s popularity amongst the group of students who gathered to listen to the Olympians and Rio hopefuls speak about their Olympic Games experiences.
Sydney gold medallist Stuary Tinney, who also represented Australia at the Athens Olympics, was encouraged by the enthusiasm of the young group.
“We try to motivate them, encourage them and keep them on track for hopefully representing Australia in the future,” said Tinney.
“To be at the high level of the sport if you’re a young rider coming through takes a lot of hard work. I’m still learning now and trying to get better,” he said.
Beijing silver medallist Rose hopes the experience has inspired young riders to follow their dreams.
“Some of the stories (we told) were about when we were kids and their age,” said Rose. “Hopefully we’ve inspired somebody to come and fill our shoes when we’re not competing anymore.”
Young riders aged from eight to 18 queued for autographs, the chance to have their photo taken with their heroes and get up close to an Olympic medal.
10 year old Alexandra Inglis said she would remember the moment for a long time to come.
“They were so cool and it was amazing,” she said. “Shane is awesome, so is Stuart, they gave me a lot of great tips and a lot of inspiration.”
Olympic Day is an international community event celebrating sport, education and culture. In Australia, Olympians are returning to school to talk about their experience at the Olympic Games and the positive impact sport has had on their life.