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Olympic High

Release Date: 29-Jun-2016 | Go Back

Roseville College Junior School students rode the Olympic high when two members of the Rio Olympic team, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, visited the school.

Year 5 student Matilda Gauci, was over-the-moon to meet the sailing duo and quick to encourage them to do their best at the Olympics.

"I am impressed by how much training, perseverance and and experience goes into qualifying for the Olympics," says the young amateur sailor, who competed in an Open Bic at the NSW State Championsips.

For Jason and Lisa, the visit to Roseville College was an opportunity to inspire young Australians and share some of the wisdom they've learned on the road to the Rio Olympic Games to be held from 5 - 21 August.

"I will be so proud to call myself an Olympian," says Jason. "I've been working towards this title all my life,"

Jason, who is from the Northern Beaches, will represent Australia in Rio sailing in the Nacra 17 mixed multi-hull alongside his team mate and, surprisingly for many students, his cousin and fellow Sydney local, Lisa Darmanin.

"We have been sailing together for eight years," adds Jason, who comes from a sailing family and sailed around the world on a yacht as a child. "We've worked hard during that time. Working hard towards your goals is my best advice to the Roseville students, but the most important part is to enjoy the journey and have fun along the way!"

Team mate Lisa Darmanin surprised the students with her all round focus on learning and excellence. At 24 years old and heading to compete on world's most celebrated sporting stage, Lisa does so with a University degree already under her belt. She was, for the students, a vivacious, intelligent female role-model who inspired the girls to believe that women can achieve great things on many fronts, at once, with diligence, commitment and time management.

Not surprisingly, Lisa's advice to the girls was "to always try your hardest, no matter what you do in life,"

Jason and Lisa won their first overseas medal at the 2009 ISAF Youth Worlds in Buzios, Brazil and more recently won the 2015 Rio Test Event and placed second at the 2015 World Championships. They make their Olympic debut in Rio.

"There is luck and a lot of skill needed to bring home a medal," Matilda adds, thoughtfully, when asked what she'd like to say to Jason and Lisa during their visit, "I want to tell Jason and Lisa that I think its such a big deal to be in the Olympic team; that alone deserves congratulations! And I wish them good luck!"

Photo: 2016 Olympic team sailors, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin with Roseville College Year 5 student, Matilda Gauci (front), and Year 6 leaders, Elinor Trevelyan Jones and Adelaide French (back)

Olympics 2016 (263 KB)