Rhys Allan, a Year 12 student at the School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE) in Leederville, was recently presented with an Olympic Flag in recognition of his outstanding achievement in the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics held in Buenos Aires.

Rhys competed in Judo and had two closely fought contests coming up against the eventual Gold and Bronze Medallists, with one of the contests ending in a Golden Score. He was a member of a team of 88 athletes who competed across 26 sports, claiming 16 individual and five mixed international medals.

Rhys accepted the Olympic Flag on behalf of SIDE from former SIDE Class of 2017 student Tamsin Cook, an Olympic Swimming Silver Medallist at the Rio Olympics.

After the presentation, Tamsin and Rhys spoke to other SIDE students about studying with SIDE and pursuing elite sporting ambitions. Rhys likened studying at SIDE to judo.

“Being at SIDE is a lot like judo. When you are on the mat there’s just you. You have to rely on yourself; no-one’s going to spoon feed you anything. I’m a really self-reliant person and that carries over to my studies at SIDE.”

Tamsin was 17 years old when she was selected for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and she spoke about fitting in study with training and travel.

“It required a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication and a lot of time management to fit in with the study. But SIDE was a great help and allowed me to be very flexible around my training and travel, and it really helped with me making the Olympic team.”