Boardsailing legend Barabara Kendall is inspiring kids to follow their dreams as part of the ANZ Olympic Schools Programme.
The scheme was was formed in partnership with the New Zealand Olympic Committee to motivate young people.
Kendall - the only Kiwi woman to compete at five Olympic Games - is among its amabassadors and says every youngster has a natural talent that should be nurtured and developed.
"When you love to do something you become better at it, and you don't even notice that you are trying hard because you love doing it," she says.
Kendall lives in Auckland and has numerous gold, bronze and silver medal wins to her name. She discovered her passion for boardsailing when she was 16 years old.
"I knew I wanted to be the best and so I worked really hard at it.
"It took years of hard work and practice for me to get there but I had to do it because no-one was going to just hand me a gold medal."
Her work with the programme took her to Forrest Hill School this month on Auckland's North Shore where she spoke to 150 year 5 and 6 students about her achievements.
The Olympic values of respect, friendship and excellence are paramount to success, she says.
"Values are the foundation of how you live your life, they mould the person you become. Being consciously aware of those values will empower you to ensure success."
Kendall is the sister of two-time Olympic sailing medallist Bruce Kendall who is coaching a team of kiwi windsurfers at 2014 Youth Olympic Games from August 16 to 28 in China.
- North Shore Times