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Burmester and Ingram Join Loader as Olympic Ambassadors

Two-time Olympians Moss Burmester and Melissa Ingram have been selected by the New Zealand Olympic Committee to be Olympic Ambassadors. The retired swimmers have both remained heavily involved in swimming in various capacities, including coaching and mentoring.

Ingram and Burmester will join double Olympic gold medalist Danyon Loader in being the only Olympic Ambassadors for the sport of swimming. Loader was the first athlete to be appointed as an Olympic Ambassador back in 2007.

The NZOC aims to inspire young Kiwi kids to live the Olympic Values through sport and the celebration of the Olympic Games. The Olympic Ambassador Programme began in 2008, with its specific focus being to ensure that New Zealand Olympians’ stories are maximised for the benefit of aspiring youths.

The NZOC explains, “Olympic Ambassadors are inspirational role models living the Olympic Values. They engage with youth through school visits and presentations, working mainly in primary schools, targeting ages 8-13 years. In sharing their sporting, Olympic, and life experiences they deliver key messages and examples to inspire and motivate youth to live the Olympic Values through sport and life in general; to participate and achieve; and to be the best that they can be."

Burmester is excited to be a part of the programme after recalling his own inspirational encounters with Olympians as a child.

“I remember the many visits and talks from other great Kiwis that inspired and motivated me. I hope that when I share my experiences I have the same effect – to dream big, don’t be afraid to give it a go, and get out there to give it everything!”

Burmester is not new to a role of this kind. He was also selected by the NZOC to be a part of an inaugural training programme for past Olympic athletes to be selected as support staff for New Zealand teams.

When asked what being an Olympic ambassador meant to him Burmester replied, “Using the Olympic values and principles, as well as my own personal experiences and knowledge, to inspire and motivate children to dream big and act on those dreams. To not be afraid of failure, or society telling them they risk failure, and having the guts to give it a go. Those that give it a go will always be better off than those who are too scared to.”

Ingram, who only retired from elite sport a few months ago, is passionate about her new role and opportunity.

“Child obesity statistics concern me, and they can be easily improved, we just need to get kids up and off the couch, away from computer games, and outside in the fresh air exercising. If I can inspire one child to lead a healthy and active lifestyle then I’ll be happy.”

She believes that the lessons she learnt, and experiences she had during her swimming career will hold her in good stead for the rest of her life.

“You learn essential life qualities like discipline, dedication, determination, tenacity, and the development of a good work ethic.” 

The pair will begin their role visiting schools in the Auckland region after an induction session in mid-August.

For further information about the programme please visit: http://www.olympic.org.nz/education/nz-olympic-ambassador-programme.