Six of Australia’s greatest sporting heroes to mentor the next generation of stars.
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) today announced its Scholarship and Mentoring Program for 2022 which will see five Olympic champions and one of rugby’s greatest ever players mentor Australia’s next generation of stars.
The nation’s leading sports scholarship program, which is supported by Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport, awards 32 scholarships and $150,000 in funding to future stars to support them in their quest for excellence and success on the world stage.
The SAHOF Scholarship and Mentoring Program comprises three tiers. Tier 1 recipients recognising six young athletes from the sports of Sailing, Athletics, Cycling, Wakeboarding, Equestrian and Skiing were revealed today.
They are provided with unrivalled mentoring access and support from six of Australia’s most successful sporting greats, who will volunteer their time over 14 months. The mentors are Sport Australia Hall of Fame Members, three-time Olympic champion Dawn Fraser AC MBE, dual Olympic sailing champion Malcolm Page OAM, three-time Olympic swimming champion Stephanie Rice OAM, Olympic diving gold medallist Matthew Mitcham OAM, Olympic pole vault gold medallist Steve Hooker OAM, and Wallaby legend John Eales AM.
The 2022 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Tier 1 Scholarship Holders are:
- World Under 21 sailing champion, dual Australian National and Oceania Champion, Zac Littlewood, 20, WA (Steve Hooker OAM)
- Four-time National cycling champion and four-time Australian record holder, Alessia McCaig, 18, VIC (Matthew Mitcham OAM)
- Australia’s No.1 senior wakeboarder, Mikayo Mundy, 17, QLD (Malcolm Page OAM)
- Tokyo Olympics 400 metre runner, Youth Commonwealth Games champion, Bendere Oboya, 21, VIC (Stephanie Rice OAM)
- Two-time Australian and NSW equestrian champion, Jess Rice-Ward, 19, NSW (Dawn Fraser AC MBE)
- World No.17-ranked moguls competitor and top 20 finisher at eight World Cups in 2021, Cooper Woods, 21, NSW (John Eales AM)
Since the program’s inception in 2006, SAHOF has supported 141 athletes through the unique Scholarship and Mentoring Program. Many of these relationships are still going strong today, including Adam Gilchrist AM and Caitlin Parker, Debbie Watson OAM and Anabelle Smith, Nick Farr-Jones AM and Ben Tudhope, and Layne Beachley AO and Poppy Starr Olsen.
Tier 2 and Tier 3 Scholarship Holders will be announced in the coming weeks. Tier 2 scholarships provide 10 athletes with a $5,000 sporting expenses grant each, SAHOF encouragement and support. Tier 3 provides 16 athletes with $2,500 sporting grants each, SAHOF encouragement and support.
Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck said the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program is a fantastic example of how our sporting heroes can inspire future champions.
“The 2022 mentors include a triple Olympic gold medallist and five-time world record holder in swimming, a dual Olympic champion and seven-time world champion in sailing and a Wallaby Hall of Fame Inductee,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Their active sporting careers may be over but their active contribution continues through the support and advice they will provide to these young athletes which will be life changing.
“The Australian Government is delighted to support this program and I wish all scholarship recipients the very best for their sporting careers and thank the mentors for their leadership on this program.”
Sport Australia Chair, Josephine Sukkar AM said: The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program showed the power of sport to unite, inspire and build stronger communities.
“I’m delighted to see the program offer so many scholarships, providing opportunities for even more young athletes from across Australia to further their careers.
“The opportunity for scholarship recipients to be paired with mentors like these is priceless, and will help these young athletes reach their potential in not only their chosen sport, but life more broadly.
“To be mentored by some of Australian sport’s most iconic names such as swimming legend Dawn Fraser AC MBE, Olympic gold medallists Steve Hooker OAM and Matthew Mitcham OAM will have an immeasurable impact on the next generation, particularly as we look ahead to a home Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane in 2032.”
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