Eleanor Patterson and Tim Hodge launch the NSWIS Lights Up athlete documentary series.

“Everyone’s worked hard. Everyone’s talented, and everyone’s got the capabilities within them.

It bubbles down to who can hold their cool on the day . . . who can be in the moment and have the conviction of self.

Eleanor Patterson OLY & 2022 World High Jump Champion

NSWIS Lights Up is a unique documentary series which explores the raw emotions, inner thoughts, challenges, and triumphs of 20 ‘world’s best’ New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) athletes who are preparing to prove themselves on the world’s biggest sporting stage.  

The documentaries are scheduled for release on a weekly basis in the lead up to the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the world premiere of the series, featuring 2022 world high jump champion Eleanor Patterson, taking place today. 

“The NSWIS Lights Up documentary series allows all viewers to appreciate what has influenced – and driven – our world’s best athletes to succeed.” 

Minister for Sport, Stephen Kamper

“While the series provides aspiring athletes with an insight into the realities of high performance sport – and some are harsh – the selected athletes come from such a diverse background I’m sure they’ll identify with the athletes’ stories,” Minister Kamper said.

Timothy Hodge (2023 world champion 200m Individual Medley SM9); Melissa Wu (Olympic diving silver and bronze medallist); Shane Rose (Olympic equestrian silver and bronze medallist); Tara Rigney (2023 world rowing championships bronze medallist); Jono Milne (2023 world Para archery championships bronze medallist), and Brandon Starc (Olympic finalist) are more of the NSWIS athletes who feature in the series. 

The series details each athlete’s rise from their grass roots junior sporting competitions, the importance of their support base, the origins of the inner determination that has driven their pursuit of excellence, their definition of courage in sport, their fears, and sharing with viewers the adrenaline-charged thrill of competing at global contests.  

  “Guaranteed to inspire . . .” Bradley McGee, Olympic gold medallist

Each athlete puts a human face to their story. Through their voice we learn there is no courage without vulnerability, and that there’s times when pushing on when it would be so easy to quit is a victory. Each story is different, but they’re entwined by a fierce inner courage and the desire to shine on the world’s greatest stage. 

NSWIS Chief Executive Officer Professor Kevin Thompson said the documentaries would play a vital role in inspiring young athletes during the lead up to the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

“Storytelling helps us learn how experiences have shaped an individual’s life,” said Professor Thompson. “It not only validates experiences, but it’s also an opportunity to inspire others to find the courage to push their own boundaries and pursue their dreams.”

“NSWIS’s role is to support athletes to become world’s best via our Coaches, Performance Health practitioners, Nutritionists, Biomechanists, Strength and Conditioning experts, Sports Psychologists, Doctors, Athlete Wellbeing Advisors and facilities,” said Professor Thompson.  

“An equally important purpose of the Institute is to encourage more people to participate in sport and to provide aspiring athletes with pathways to proven high performance programs.”

Twenty (20) NSWIS athletes feature in the series. For each athlete there is a five part documentary, each part approximately 3 minutes in duration, available to view on demand at nswis.com.au. 

NSWIS Lights Up Release Schedule

Tuesday 23 January: Eleanor Patterson OLY (athletics – high jump)​ 

​ Monday 29 January: Sam Fricker OLY (diving)​ 

​ Monday 5 February: Noemie Fox (canoe slalom)​ 

​ Monday 12 February: Melissa Wu OLY (diving)​ 

​ Monday 19 February: Tilly Kearns OLY (water polo)​ 

​ Monday 26 February: Sarah Carli OLY (athletics – hurdles)​ 

​ Monday 4 March: Evie Haseldine and Olivia Price (sailing)​ 

​ Monday 11 March: Dylian Littlehales (Para canoe sprint) 

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