Alyce Wood and Anna Meares were the Olympians as the Olympics Unleashed programme visited its 1000th school ©Getty Images

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced an extension to its Olympics Unleashed programme in Queensland.

The project is designed to bring Olympians into classrooms across the state, with news of the three-year extension shared during a visit to Wellers Hill State School in Brisbane.   

It marked the 1000th visit to a school in the state, with Australian canoeist Alyce Wood, who won World Championship gold in the K1 1,000 metres at Racice in 2017 and six-time Olympic cycling medallist Anna Meares, recently announced as Australia’s Chef de Mission for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the Olympians present on this occasion.

The project, which was launched in 2018, is delivered by the AOC alongside the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS), and is open to all primary schools across the state.

Australian Olympic Committee chief executive Matt Carroll said: "Olympians have stories that go beyond sport - of how to find a passion, set goals and importantly how to build resilience to allow them to overcome the inevitable challenges they face in their Olympic journey.

"These are key messages that teachers have told us are vital to young people, and resonate so strongly when they are delivered face to face by Olympians.

"This is an exciting time for the Olympic Movement and we thank the Queensland Government and QAS for your continued support to bring Olympians into classrooms to inspire young Queenslanders to find and pursue their passion.

"As we move down the 10 year green and gold runway to Brisbane 2032, this programme will continue to light a spark for students, and I’m sure plenty of those young people who see the power of the Olympic Movement face to face will go on to be vital contributors to the success of the Games in ten years time."

Since the start of the project more than 150,000 young people from Queensland have benefited.

Thanks to the new funding agreement, the project is set to secure the future of the project through until 2025.

Queensland Sport Minister and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement, Stirling Hinchliffe said Olympics Unleashed took on even greater significance in the build-up to the Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.

"Olympics Unleashed has great potential to inspire young students to aim to become Queensland’s next generation of medal winners at a home Games in 2032," said Hinchliffe.

"We know not every young Queenslander will make an Olympic or Paralympic team, but the possibilities of Olympics Unleashed go beyond that.

"Olympics Unleashed and the stories of athletes who have made the journey are a powerful way of helping students build goals, resilience and confidence.

"Since launching, Olympics Unleashed has encouraged more young Queenslanders to embrace the Olympic spirit and its values.

"The true value of Olympics Unleashed is its ability to motivate students to make healthy choices and be their best in the classroom, playground and sport.

"Extending the Olympics Unleashed programme to 2025 means reaching more schools and more young Queenslanders with podium potential."