2032 Olympic talent search reaches the Torres Strait - Education Matters Magazine
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2032 Olympic talent search reaches the Torres Strait

The Queensland Academy of Sport’s Youfor32 team has reached the Torres Strait for the first time, putting Tagai State College, Thursday Island, secondary students through their paces in an athlete talent search for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who will hold the Community Cabinet meeting at the school, said it’s great to see the state-wide talent search reach Queensland’s northern-most region.

“Youfor2032 is about unlocking potential no matter where you live in our great state, putting young athletes on the green and gold runway to sporting success,” the Premier said.

“Tagai State College students join the 2,450 young Queenslanders aged 13 to 23 who have participated in the program to-date, across 25 locations including regions like Cherbourg, St George, Bundaberg, Yarrabah and Charters Towers.

“The team will be testing a further 20,000 young Queenslanders over the next couple of years, and don’t worry if you weren’t tested this time, the team will be back in the Torres Strait in the future to test even more kids.”

Sport Minister and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Sport and Engagement Stirling Hinchliffe said Youfor2032 was Australia’s biggest ever athlete talent search.

“The Torres Strait is known for producing exceptional sporting talent and we’re keen to harness that ability for the 2032 Games,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Queensland’s Academy of Sport will be offering specialist training to up to 400 of the State’s best young athletes to become podium ready for our home Games in 2032.

“We want to see First Nations athletes from Torres Strait on Queensland’s green and gold runway to 2032 putting in medal-winning performances.

“Of course, Youfor2032 isn’t the only track to becoming a future Queensland Olympic or Paralympic star, many sports have elite training programs.

“We’ve designed Youfor2032 to be Australia’s biggest talent search so we can uncover young Queenslanders with elite potential, regardless of where they live.”

The Premier said students of Tagai State College were being supported both on and off the oval, with her government investing almost $31 million in modern and upgraded school infrastructure and facilities over five years.

“More than 1,500 students attend Tagai State College, spread across 17 sites throughout the Torres Strait islands,” the Premier said.

“Remoteness should not be an obstacle to success and that’s why our government is investing in school infrastructure, creating learning environments and recreational facilities that support all students to excel.”

Two projects underway at the Thursday Island Primary Campus are worth a combined $7.48 million – replacing the existing amenities block and providing a covered outdoor learning area.

The Thursday Island Secondary Campus library is being refurbished into four learning spaces for $1.83 million. Another upgrade improving access to the school’s amenities block was completed last year, worth more than $100,000.

Education Minister Grace Grace said other recent infrastructure projects at the various College campuses include refurbishments of existing facilities, oval upgrades and enhancement of outdoor play spaces.

“The school community is benefiting from a $330,000 new outdoor play space for the kindergarten at the Masig Island/Yorke campus,” Minister Grace said.

“Along with another outdoor play space at the Warraber Island campus worth $250,000, these innovative projects support early childhood learning, providing a great foundation for our youngest students.

“The Tagai State College campuses will also benefit from the Department of Education’s $187 million agreement with Telstra to upgrade bandwidth across the state schools network with a direct and positive impact for the 21 schools and associated departmental locations within the Torres Strait.

“Four sites have already received their full upgrades, and another four have had an interim upgrade – all of them more than doubling their bandwidth – and we’ve delivered 250 IT devices for students with another 530 on the way.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said: “As someone who spent the early part of my life and attended school in the Torres Strait, I am thrilled to see these opportunities opening up for kids and families in this remote part of Queensland.

“The infrastructure investments our Government is delivering for schools in the Torres Strait are critically important to help Torres kids have the best chance to empower themselves for a bright future.”

The Queensland Academy of Sport will return to the Torres Strait for further Youfor2032 testing sessions in mid-2023.

Tagai State College Executive Principal Michael Ward said that the community welcomed the new facilities confirmed for the Thursday Island Secondary campus and Primary campus.

“Works currently happening under the Housing Improvement Program for staff accommodation are making a big difference to improve the quality and attractiveness of staff housing for our workforce,” Mr Ward said.

“Tagai State College is currently partnering with the Region to identify opportunities to improve play spaces. This will mean a lot to the students to enhance their playtime by providing safe and attractive environments for their fun, socialisation and fitness.”

The Queensland Academy of Sport will return to the Torres Strait for further Youfor2032 testing sessions in mid-2023.

For more information on Youfor2032, please visit https://youfor2032.initiatives.qld.gov.au/


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