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Sporting Schools School Yard to Sports Star: Brooke Stratton

Brooke Stratton

Image: Brooke Stratton, Australian Long Jumper taking the leap (Courtesy of Getty Images)

Do you remember your first goal, score or win when you played school sport and how did it feel?

I remember watching the Sydney 2000 Olympics when I was in Grade 1 and instantly setting a goal of getting to an Olympic games when I was old enough. Throughout school, I was always involved in sport because I had such a huge passion for it so it is hard to remember one specific moment because I was always participating. I do remember coming runners up in soccer at state in grade 6, which was a pretty cool achievement.

What’s your fondest memory of playing sport at school?

At school, I participated in every sport possible and whenever there was an opportunity to get involved, I did. In primary school I made it through to district, zone, state and nationals for athletics when I was 9, 10 and 11 years of age.

How old were you when it ‘clicked’ that you wanted to be a professional sports player?

Since I was in grade one, I had the goal of representing my country in the back of my mind after watching the Sydney Olympics on TV. This goal has ever since stuck with me, but it wasn’t until 5 years ago when I realised I am on my way to achieving it. RIO Olympics next year is well within my sights.

What are your top three tips to children about playing sport?

  • My biggest tip for children playing sport is that you have to enjoy it. At a young age, sport is based around learning the fundamentals of skills, which should be fun.
  • Encourage your peers and ensure you are supporting your teammates. 
  • Provide good sportsmanship. Whether you win or lose, shake your opponents hand and congratulate them.

Sporting Schools is a $100 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run an athletics programme at your school? Check out all the details on the Athletics Australia page.

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