Six young athletes are being partnered with some of Australian sport’s most iconic names as part of a greatly expanded Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program.
A total of 32 young athletes from around the country will receive scholarships as part of this year’s program, which began in 2006 and is now supported by Australian Government funding from Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
Six of those young athletes, all from different sports, will each receive a $10,000 sporting grant and be personally mentored by Australian sporting champions including Olympic gold medallists, national captains and World Cup winners.
Swimmer Susie O’Neill AM, Rugby’s George Gregan AM, Cricket’s Ricky Ponting AO, Beach Volleyball’s Kerri Pottharst OAM, Cyclist Brad McGee OAM and Water Polo’s Debbie Watson OAM have put their hands up to help guide young athletes Josie Baff (NSW, 17, Snowboarding), Ari Gesini (ACT, 17, Para-Athletics), Jed Morgan (QLD, 20, Golf) Marissa Williamson (VIC, 18, Boxing), Oliver Moran (NSW, 18, BMX) and Molly Picklum (NSW, 17, Surfing).
Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck said the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program symbolised the important inspiration and legacy sport provides.
“This program is a fantastic example of how our sporting heroes of the past can continue to influence, support and inspire our champions of the future,” Minister Colbeck said.
“This group of mentors contains combined experience of 11 Olympic Games and 16 Olympic medals, World Cups victories in rugby and cricket, a yellow-jersey leader in the Tour de France. Their active sporting careers are complete, but they continue to contribute to the enduring power of Australian sport by mentoring the next generation. I thank the mentors for your leadership on this program and I wish the young athletes the very best with your sporting ambitions.”
Sport Australia Chair John Wylie AM said the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program showed the collective power of sport.
“The best part of this program is seeing mentors and scholarship holders from different sporting backgrounds come together with a shared goal to help the next generation of young elite athletes achieve sporting success,” Mr Wylie said. “Look at how a young Indigenous female boxer like Marissa Williamson has already overcome so much, but can now be mentored by Olympic gold medal beach volleyballer Kerri Pottharst. Nothing comes close to sport as a power to unite us, motivate us and inspire us.”
Oliver Moran has been riding BMX bikes for 13 years and is a four-time National Champion. He won the 2019 Cycling Australia BMX Junior Cyclist of the Year award. In his first year in the Junior Elite class, he placed second at the 2019 BMX World Championships and is currently ranked fourth in the UCI Junior Elite ranking.
“I was incredibly happy and honoured to find out that I had been chosen as a SAHOF recipient for the 2021 year. Having looked at past winners and seeing how far they have gone in their chosen sport is a real inspiration to make the most of this opportunity given to me. Having access to a mentor who has reached the pinnacle of his career in Brad McGee is exciting and I look forward to hearing his feedback and his experiences in Europe especially.” – Oliver Moran
“I look forward to working with Oliver as he progresses along his journey. I will dig deep to draw on and share my experiences. I expect many personal learnings as we dive into the current and future needs of a young high-performance athlete, from regional NSW, ready to take on the world. Go the green gold!” – Mentor, Brad McGee OAM
“A fantastic achievement for one of our up and coming BMX star’s to be selected as one of six young Australians in the country into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Oliver has a bright future ahead and to work with an athlete with the experience of Brad McGee will only help Oliver develop as an athlete. Congratulations Oliver, we are excited for what the future will bring.” – BMX Australia CEO, Shane Coppin
Scholarships would normally be presented at the annual Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner, however, given current restrictions, the Scholarship Holders and Mentors will be meeting virtually until circumstances change.
For the full release and more information – CLICK HERE