I am proud to be one of the Ambassadors for the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) held in Sydney from 16-20 January.

In this role I hope to serve as both a role model and mentor for the AYOF competitors; to identify with the AYOF athletes and pass on my experiences of attending Olympic Games including representing my country, living in the village, being a team-mate, competing on the world stage, and the positive and the negative aspects.

I want to help the AYOF athletes to develop an appreciation for the values, spirit and philosophy of the Olympic Movement, not only from what I have experienced as an Olympic athlete and Olympic gold medallist but also through what I experienced in attending the International Olympic Academy (IOA) in June 2012.

My involvment as ambassador will also include attending the Opening Ceremony, presenting medals, being involved in village activities, attending various cycling competition and training sessions, engaging in media activities and participating as a guest panellist at the AOC Drug Education Program.

With 5 days of elite youth sport, I believe the the AYOF is a fantastic opportinity for our young stars of the future to get a taste of elite sporting competitions and it gives our young athletes a real belief that representing their country at an Olympic Games is a possibility.

Many of our current Aussie sporting heroes had some of their first international sporting experiences at the AYOF including Emma Snowsill, Matthew Mitcham, Jessicah Schipper, Jessica Fox, Anna Meares, Cate Campbell, Pat Mills, Madonna Blyth, Kim Crow to name just a few.

The 2013 AYOF will feature 1700 athletes from 30 countries competing in 17 sports. Other than the Opening Ceremony being ticketed, the event is free to attend so come and support and ‘see tomorrow’s Olympians today!’ Yay!

AYOF Website: ayof2013.olympics.com.au

Twitter: twitter.com/ayof2013 #AYOF2013