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Future stars to be guided by the best in Scholarship and Mentoring Program

Five of Australia’s brightest young stars will receive mentoring from five of Australia’s Hall of Fame members, as part of the 2017 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.

The Scholarship and Mentoring Program aims to help talented young Australians achieve at the highest level of sport, by providing support and funding for a period of 12 months.

Awarded annually as part of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner – supported byEtihad Airways – the successful recipients will be presented their scholarships by their respective mentors on Thursday, 13th October 2016 at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.

Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chairman John Bertrand AO, who was a mentor to 2013 scholarship holder and Olympic silver medallist Olivia Price, said the mentoring is a money can’t buy opportunity.

“The impact of having an Australian sporting superstar as a mentor for our scholarship holders has been profound,” Bertrand said.

“The five successful scholarship recipients have demonstrated they are quality young people within sport and life in general and it is a privilege to play a vital role in nurturing the nation’s next wave of talent – both as athletes and people,” Bertrand added.

Successful recipients receive one-on-one personal mentoring by a current member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, in what is a unique and life changing experience. Recipients will also be awarded a $5,000 sporting expenses grant, as well as one international return economy flight thanks to Etihad Airways.

2017 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program








Kailani Craine


Figure Skating


Waratah, NSW

Kerri Pottharst OAM

Beach Volleyball


Elloise Devlin




Lake MacDonald, QLD

Kieren Perkins OAM



Caleb Grothues




Iluka, WA

Stan Longinidis

Kick Boxing


Amanda Reid




Sydney, NSW

Louise Sauvage OAM



Bradley Woodward




Life Saving


Life Saving


Shelley Beach, NSW

Clint Robinson OAM


Surf Life Saving


Eighteen-year-old figure skater Kailani Craine won the Australian senior title in 2015, and went on to finish 16th in the free skate competition at the world junior figure skating championships in Estonia, before making her senior world championships debut in 2016, finishing 27th in Boston. The Newcastle based skater is Australia’s leading figure skating prospect heading into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Sunshine Coast equestrian Elloise Devlin has been around horses her whole life and was riding on her mum’s horses before she got her own. The 18-year-old from Lake MacDonald, just outside Noosa, competes in dressage with her grand prix horse, Brimstone Anakiwa (nicknamed Sam), which she has taught since a foal. She also has a young horse, Brimstone Florente which she is teaching. With placings in Concours Dressage International (CDI) events in Brisbane and Sydney in the youth category and membership of the Australian National young riders dressage squad, her goal is to compete for Australia at the Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games.

A world champion at the age of 12, Caleb Grothues drew immediate comparisons to Australian motocross star Chad Reed. The 16-year-old from Iluka, Western Australia, has a string of national junior titles to his name. He won the FIM junior world title in Bulgaria in 2012 and recently finished fifth in the 125cc event in Russia. However his career nearly ended in 2015 when he was hit by another rider at the FIM EMX Championships in Italy, which resulted in the amputation of both his ring finger and pinkie.  Doctors initially recommended amputating his hand, but he pleaded with them and after six hours of micro surgery, he was advised it was unlikely he’d be able to continue riding – but returned nine months later.

Sydney para-cyclist Amanda Reid set a new personal best to win the silver medal in the C1 (2-5) 500m time trial on the track at the recent Paralympics in Rio.  The 19-year-old Indigenous athlete is a former swimmer who competed in the London Paralympics where she finished fifth in the 100m breaststroke. After London she transferred to cycling with immediate success, winning a silver medal at the 2016 UCI para-cycling track world titles in the 500m time trial. Reid also finished 11th in both the road race and road time trial in Rio.

Rising aquatics star Bradley Woodward loves the water and competes across three disciplines – swimming, surf life saving and royal life saving. From Shelley Beach on the NSW Central Coast, the 18-year-old is currently doing his HSC and also works as a life guard at Wyong Shire Council. He is ranked the number one junior in the world in pool rescue and Australian champion across a range of events, including manikin carry, obstacle race, and manikin tow. In the pool, his preferred strokes are backstroke and butterfly and after winning a number of age group national titles, he is beginning to make his way in the senior ranks, placing 11th in the 200m backstroke at the 2016 Olympic trials in Adelaide. He has represented Australia at the FINA world junior championships and Commonwealth Youth Games in the pool and has his sights set on senior representation.

Olympic beach volleyball gold medallist and 2014 Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee Kerri Pottharst, said she is looking forward to learning about a completely new sport when she mentors figure skater Kailani Craine.

“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.

Pottharst and playing partner Natalie Cook had developed their ‘Gold Medal Excellence Plan’ in the lead up to Sydney and the trademarks easily apply to other sports and all facets of life.

“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.

Kieren Perkins, a dual Olympic gold medallist and one of Australia’s greatest swimmers, will mentor Devlin. It’s the second time he has been part of the program after working with cricketer Holly Ferling in 2013.

“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.

The athlete dubbed ‘The Superfish,’ was an athlete liaison officer with the equestrian team at the London Olympics, revealing that before he was a swimmer, he rode horses.

“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.

Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program Background

Since the introduction of the Program in 2006, 58 young Australian athletes (view full list) have benefited from 61 scholarships.

Such is the success of the program that 20 past and present scholarship recipients represented Australia at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, including dual Paralympic wheelchair tennis gold medallist Dylan Alcott OAM, Paralympic swimming gold medallist Maddison Elliott OAM, cycling team pursuit silver medallists Jack Bobridge and Alex Edmondson, archery team bronze medal winner Alec Potts and synchronised 3m springboard bronze medallist Anabelle Smith.

Other notable graduates of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program include Patrick Mills(basketball), Lauren Mitchell (gymnastics), Jessicah Schipper (swimming) and Caroline Buchanan (BMX).

Scholarship holders have been privileged to be mentored by such Australian sporting greats as; Catherine Freeman OAMSusie O’Neill OAMRechelle Hawkes OAMAdam Gilchrist AMRobert de Castella AO MBE and Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chairman John Bertrand AO.

The scholarships will be formally presented at the sold out Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner – on Thursday 13th October 2016 at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.

2016 will mark the 32nd edition of this event, with a further eight Australian sporting icons, from on and off the field, to be inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

In addition to the eight inductees, Australian sport’s ‘night of nights’ will see the elevation of one current member to Legend status, becoming the official 38th Legend of Australian Sport. The night will also celebrate ‘The Don’ Award which is widely regarded as Australia’s most prestigious contemporary sporting award.

Established in 1985, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame plays a vital role in preserving and perpetuating Australia’s rich sporting heritage, whilst promoting the values of courage, sportsmanship, integrity, mateship, persistence, and excellence, all underpinned by generosity, modesty, pride and ambition.


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