Twenty-two young Australians from all walks of life have been given the rare opportunity of representing Australia at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Youth Camp, a strong tradition that was introduced at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) in conjunction with News Ltd selected the 22 participants from hundreds of applicants giving them the chance of a lifetime to mix with youth from all around the world and form an international circle of friends.

Jo-anne D’Cress from Bunbury in WA was one of the lucky entrants to win a place at the Camp, which will be held from 12 September through to 4 October at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, Sydney.

A recipient of several awards for achievement in sport and education, Jo-anne also received an invitation to meet the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh during their recent visit to Australia, a unique experience she will always remember.

‘Meeting the Queen was an awesome experience, one that I thought could not be topped but being selected as an ambassador for Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Youth Camp will be right up there with it,’ Jo-anne said.

‘I am particularly looking forward to attending the Opening Ceremony, one of the many privileges we will have as youth campers and sharing in the Olympic spirit,’ she said.

Participants were chosen from each state and territory Australia-wide through the submission of an essay detailing why they should be considered for selection. Applicants were selected based on their ability to demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the Olympic Movement and their commitment to becoming ambassadors for their country.

The 22 participants selected for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Youth Camp are:

Flora Georgakopoulos North Parramatta, NSW
Doyle Kim Campsie, NSW
George Brown Jervis Bay, NSW
Jessica McNeill Cullen, NT
Jody Parker Tindall, NT
Daniel Koch Enoggera, QLD
Carly Nyst Southport, QLD
Liam Jerrems Tewantin, QLD
Stephanie Bampton Ascot Park, SA
Kate Higgins Booleroo Centre, SA
Scott Gubbins Globe Derby Park, SA
Kate Saunders Sandy Bay, TAS
Vaughan Cruickshank Barrington, TAS
Anita Sansom Claremont, TAS
Gemma Dowling Koroit, VIC
Ryan Witcombe South Mildura, VIC
Daniel Jenkinson Glen Waverley,VIC
Laine McDonald East Victoria Park, WA
Andrew Wiklund Dianella, WA
Jo-anne D’Cress Bunbury, WA
Joanne Dimer Bunbury, WA
Amarah Bin Hitham Broome, WA

Over 400 young people representing all the nations attending the Games will participate in the program which includes trips to the Great Barrier Reef and the rural NSW. Campers will also be involved in the Torch Relay and a number of other sporting and cultural events including a mini-Olympics.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT DANIELLE KEAN AT THE AOC ON (02) 9245 2089 OR 0407 207 727.

Source: Australian Olympic Committee