Kailani Craine (Figure Skating)
“With the mentoring program, listening to the other athlete’s experiences will be interesting, but the funding also helps so much,” Craine said of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
“It makes training in other environments like Los Angeles possible, where I can skate and learn with Olympic champions,” she said. “It’s an entirely different scene, helping to adapt and begin skating like them.”
“It will be a really great experience to meet everyone at the event and work with the mentors,” Craine said.
“I was in the middle of my trial exams when I got the call about the mentoring program. I was really stressed so it made everything so much better – it was the best news.”
Mentor - Kerri Pottharst OAM (Beach Volleyball)
"I can’t do what she does, but I can help her get to the next level, develop belief and plan her success,” Pottharst said.
“It’s about developing belief. If somebody else can do it, why can’t I? So I’ll be asking Kailani that question and can’t wait to be involved in her journey,” Pottharst said.
Elloise Devlin (Equestrian)
“I was genuinely shocked,” Devlin said. “I was so excited to hear that I had won this amazing opportunity. I had to keep asking them ‘are you serious’?”
“It’s going to be such a great chance to be able to get advice and the knowledge from someone that’s had the experience – even if it is in another discipline, it will help me understand so much more.”
“I’m getting ready for the national championships in late October which takes place over four-days in Sydney. It’s a great vibe and my last competition for the year but it’s a big one,” she said.
“The gala event at Crown looks amazing. I’ve seen all the photos and videos,” Devlin said. “I saw ‘The Don’ award nominations and thought ‘oh wow they’re going too?’ I’m really looking forward to going.”
Mentor - Kieren Perkins OAM (Swimming)
“It’s a cool experience and I found that you actually get just as much out of it as a mentor as the mentoree does. It works both ways. As you have conversations and figure things out you understand more about them and how you can help. You find that their experiences are very similar to your own and that it’s all quite similar – no matter what the sport,” Perkins said.
“As an eight or nine year-old I rode horses quite a lot… my equestrian dream was short lived though as I got taller and also got better at swimming so that became my focus, so I’m looking forward to working with Elloise and her horse,” Perkins said.
Caleb Grothues (Motocross)
“When I got the call I was absolutely ecstatic. I was speechless,” Grothues said. “I couldn’t believe it had happened to be honest.”
“It was an honour to be acknowledged and hopefully I can be a good role model for others in the future.”
“The hardest thing about the accident was having a year off,” he said. “I lost a lot of training and fitness. Trying to get a lot of strength back through my hand was difficult, but we’ve come back strong.”
“I’m pumped to be involved with the people that have come through the program,” Grotheus said. “To see what they’ve done in other sports – it’ll help me get to where they are."
Mentor - Stan Longinidis (Kick Boxing)
“It’s a privilege and honour to be a Sport Australia Hall of Fame mentor for the third year in a row,” Longinidis said.
“My passion to be able to add something to my mentorees and held them reach their dreams with a true champions spirit, character and attitude – that’s definitely my purpose.”
“I always say it’s all about choices, hard work and effort. With dreams, vision and purpose and a ‘dare to believe’ attitude anything is possible,” Longinidis said.
Amanda Reid (Para-Cycling)
“(Louise Sauvage) knows everything,” Reid said. “I met her when I was little and was doing athletics, and with her all experience and experiences she has so much knowledge.”
“I will buy a time trial bike. I rode my road bike in the time trial in Rio, so that will help a lot,” she said.
“My Rio experience was so amazing. To be part of the cycling team and the whole Australian Paralympic team was incredible and to be able to get a medal in cycling after swapping from swimming it was like wow," Reid said.
Mentor - Louise Sauvage OAM (Para-Athletics)
“I’m excited with the opportunity, it’s the first time I’ve had the chance to work as a mentor with the Sport Australia Hall of Fame scholarship program,” Sauvage said.
“I actually had the opportunity to meet Amanda in Rio, before we both knew that I’d been selected to be her mentor,” Sauvage said. “She did really well there and did a great job. To change sports is not easy and she decided what she wanted and went for it."
“My first task as a mentor is to get to know her and then be there for her and help her achieve her goals,” Sauvage said.
Bradley Woodward (Swimming, Surf Life Saving, Royal Life Saving)
“I was stoked – I didn’t expect to get in,” Woodward said. “I put my name down because I saw the people that had come through the program in the past,” Woodward said.
“They’re all incredible sportsmen and women so I was over the moon when I heard that I’d been accepted in to the program.”
“I’ve never met Clint, but I’ve obviously followed his achievements and everything he’s done. He was at the pinnacle of surf life saving and his kayaking was amazing.”
I can’t wait to learn from him as I’m sure he will have so much to offer. The mentoring program is all about the extra help. They’ve done what I’m hoping to do and that’ll certainly help with my pathway,” Woodward said.
Mentor - Clint Robinson OAM (Canoe/KayakSurf Life Saving)
“The thing that’s important to share is what it takes to be elite… understand what the 1% are that make the difference,” Robinson said.
“It’s crucial to maintain a balance, moderate all the things you do in life and all the things you need to do to be elite – it’s about performance but also about living. A lot of people do that poorly and it’s also about life after sport because that’s super important as well. If you do that well then you can live a good life with balance.”
“Surf life saving led me to kayaking but we’d never had an Olympic champion in the sport,” he says.
“If you want to achieve the ultimate then there’s nothing bigger than the Olympics but that’s going to require some serious dedication and thousands of hours in the pool… If you want to stay in life saving then that’s a great sport. “His dreams will dictate where he wants to go,” Robinson said.