It’s important to do your best, Olympic swimmer Susie O’Neill told students from Good Shepherd
Primary, Hoxton Park, when she visited their school recently as part of Westpac Real Ideals program
Olympic swimmer Susie ONeill received a very warm welcome from
students, teachers and parents at Good Shepherd Primary in Hoxton Park during a recent school visit.
Susie’s visit was sponsored by the Westpac Real Ideals Program which promotes Olympic ideals in schools and
the general community.
In her address to the school, Susie told the Good Shepherd students that she had been to a similar primary school called St Agnes’ in Brisbane.
She described how as a young girl
she wasn’t a very good swimmer and would get so nervous in races that she would stop after three strokes.
Determination, discipline and training hard, however, turned that nervous, shy swimmer into an Olympic
champion, she said.
Her main message to students was to do their best.
To illustrate this point she had brought the Sydney 2000 Olympic silver medal she won for the 200 metres butterfly rather than
some of her gold medals.
“The 200 butterfly was the race I trained hardest for,” said Susie, “so the silver medal is an example to me that as long as you do your best you have to be happy and satisfied.”
She wished the children good luck with whatever they chose to do in life but told them that even though sport was important, the most important thing was their schoolwork.
“I’m 27 now and my swimming
career is over but because I got good grades at school I may now go to university.”
As well as addressing the school assembly, Susie spent a couple of hours meeting parents and teachers and visiting
Assistant principal Liz McQuade described Susie as a great inspiration to the children.
“It was good for the children to see that although she has achieved a lot with her
swimming, she is very real, approachable, modest and down to earth,” she said.
Ms McQuade said Susie’s visit was also great for community building as so many people came together on the day.
also good to reconnect with many of the good things that came out of the Olympics last year, such as involvement and community spirit, and to see that the close of the Olympics wasn’t a full stop.”
Good Shepherd students are now inspired to create interesting projects promoting the Olympic ideals of team spirit, fair play, achievement and competition in projects they will be undertaking for the Westpac Real
Education: United approach to faith education
Faith and Practice for the Third Christian Millennium, a new education program that offers a united approach to
faith education within parishes, schools and adult education, will be introduced in the Armidale diocese next month.
“What I am trying to do is assist all Catholics through this systematic approach to develop
a deeper understanding of their faith,” said Bishop Luc Matthys of Armidale.
“I believe that implementing a uniform approach to faith education … is crucial to our development as Catholics in this new
He described the introduction of the Faith and Practice program as a positive and most productive step forward.
It has its basis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is itself
based on Sacred Scripture, Tradition, Conciliar Teachings and the Magisterium.
“You could call this a program for Christian living in the new millennium,” the bishop said.
The program will be
divided into four categories – 2001: Christian Prayer; 2002: Faith (the Creed); 2003: the Sacraments; 2004: Life in Christ (the Commandments).
“I hope this program will be most helpful, challenging,
invigorating and energising, and a catalyst for renewal throughout the diocese,” said the Bishop.