AOC chief executive Matt Carroll helped launch the programme in New South Wales ©Australian Olympic Committee

Schools in New South Wales are set to benefit from the Australian Olympic Committee’s (AOC) "Olympics Unleashed" programme.

The programme will see Olympic athletes deliver lessons for students aimed at improving students’ ability to set goals, overcome challenges and build self-esteem.

More than 100 athletes are expected to participate in the programme over the next two years, with the initiative aimed at year nine students.

More than 85,000 students from 850 schools could have the opportunity to take part.

The AUD$1.4 million (£770,000/$990,000/€870,000) programme is jointly funded by the New South Wales Government and the AOC.

"Teachers have told us that having an Olympian in the classroom telling the story of their journey is a real reminder of what you can achieve when you work hard towards your goals, making their success a touchable reality," Matt Carroll, the AOC chief executive, said.

"Olympians have inspiring stories that go beyond their sport.

"They bring to life the importance of finding what drives you, setting goals and working towards them.

"Importantly, they talk about how success is almost never a straight road, that overcoming failure is learnt along the way - lessons every student can use in their own lives.

"The AOC is committed to use the spirit of the Olympics and Australian Olympians to inspire New South Wales youth to be their best.

"In the classroom, on the sporting field, and in their personal lives.

"We thank the New South Wales Government, the Premier, Minister Stokes and Minister Ayres for their initiative and support in delivering Olympics Unleashed into New South Wales schools."

Carroll launched the programme at Cranebrook High School, where he was joined by two-time Olympic kayak medallist Jessica Fox.

Water polo athlete Aidan Roach and former sprinter Matt Shirvington were also present, along with New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minster for Sport. Stuart Ayres.

Over 100 Olympians and athletes aspiring to compete at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 will be trained by communications and education professionals before taking part in the programme.

Visits are due to begin in the second term of the 2019 school year.

"I can’t wait to start visiting schools with Olympics Unleashed to share my journey with students," said Fox.

"I found my passion in sport but most important is that you find a passion in something.

"Being able to set goals, working out steps to achieve them and overcoming challenges is so important for all of us.

"Olympians understand this really well and we are keen to pass these lessons on.

"It’s fantastic the Unleashed programme will coordinate visits around athletes’ training and competition, so we can get face-to-face with students around the state while still maintaining our high-performance schedules."

The Olympics Unleashed programme has already been conducted in Queensland, with over 100 school visits having been recorded in the state.