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Dear Diary: What makes a great leader?

Children with a sports leader
Take the Challenge will promote youth leadership skills.

05 Sep 2013

A group of Australia’s top athletes have taken time from their busy sporting schedules to reflect on what makes a great leader as part of an effort to build youth leadership skills and boost sports participation.

Take the Challenge is a new sports-themed education resource that teaches high school students how to be quality leaders — including through diary entries by athletes such as NBA firebrand Patrick Mills, champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore and rugby union standout Kristy Giteau.

‘This was an opportunity too good to miss,’ says Kristy, who recently shelved retirement plans to chase Olympic glory in 2016.

‘Sport is a fantastic way to teach young people how to be leaders and the attributes they need to display, such as respect, honesty and responsibility. This was something I stressed in my diary entries, along with some tips, advice and reflections on my own career.’

In addition to the diary inserts, the resource also includes a school curriculum with 10 units of works — such as how sport relates to business, family, media and technology — and a My Club Challenge handbook that gives students an opportunity to work as volunteers in local sporting clubs.

The resource was developed by the Australian Sports Commission in response to an earlier audit of existing youth leadership programs in schools. It is expected that the program will help national sporting organisations and clubs to increase the number of young people participating in sport.  

‘It’s a great resource and one that I think will be a huge benefit over the coming years — particularly for future sporting stars, who will become important role models in our society,’ adds Kristy.

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