Five of Australia’s most promising young athletes will benefit from the wealth of experience of our nation’s very best as a part of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame 2020 Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Now in its 14th year, the program is designed to help young Australians reach the highest levels of their sport, by providing encouragement and funding over a 14-month period.
The five athletes chosen for 2020 include Tokyo Olympic skateboarding aspirant Hayley Wilson, featherweight boxer Jack Denahy, two-time world junior track cycling champion Luke Plapp, world under 17 water ski champion Sade Ferguson and under 23 kayak world champion Tom Green.
The five young athletes receive one-on-one personal mentoring by a current member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame along with a $5,000 sporting expenses grant.
Mentors include Olympic gold medallists Libby Trickett OAM and Grant Hackett OAM, squash world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald AM, surf lifesaving champion Kristy Munroe AM and Australian football legend Kevin Sheedy AO.
With one month to go until the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner, the successful recipients will be presented their scholarships by their respective mentors on Thursday, 10th October 2019 at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.
he Sport Australia Hall of Fame 2020 Scholarship and Mentoring Program
|Jack Denahy||Boxing||20||Buninyong, VIC||Sarah Fitz-Gerald AM
|Sade Ferguson||Water Skiing||16||Roma, QLD||Kristy Munroe AM
|Tom Green||Canoe/Kayak||20||Mudgeeraba, QLD||Grant Hackett OAM
|Luke Plapp||Cycling||18||Ingle Farm, SA||Libby Trickett OAM
|Hayley Wilson||Skateboarding||17||Mansfield, VIC||Kevin Sheedy AO
Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chair John Bertrand AO said; “What an opportunity for these aspiring champions to receive a turbo boost into the real world of high-end performance sport from some of our countries greatest sportsmen and sportswomen.
All that knowledge and wisdom is now available directly with one-on-one mentoring by Members of the Sport Australia Hall of the Fame. The impact on these young dream builders will be profound.”
Scholarship recipients and mentor quotes
Jack Denahy: Boxing
“This opportunity means the world to me. Having access to the valuable experience of a sporting great such as Sarah Fitz-Gerald will help me build my career in ways I can’t begin to imagine. The funding and recognition provided will allow me to step my training up to the next level including increased strength and conditioning and seeking the best nutrition. I am truly grateful for the opportunity from the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.”
Mentor Quote: Sarah Fitz-Gerald AM (squash)
“I feel really honoured to be asked to mentor Jack, his mother and I have been great friends since we were kids, so to watch her son grow up, make decisions which have led him down this path with sport and now to see him achieving so much and working so hard gives me a huge thrill.”
Boxing Australia Quote: Josh O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer
“It’s a rare privilege for Jack to have been selected to receive a Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship for 2020. The opportunity for him to work with a mentor as accomplished at the highest level as Sarah Fitz-Gerald is a valuable opportunity to further develop himself as an international athlete. Having Sarah in his corner as he vies for qualification to the 2020 Olympics is a major boost to his chances. Boxing Australia is greatly appreciative of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in its support of Jack and boxing.”
Sade Ferguson: Water Skiing
“To be recognised as a recipient of the SAHOF Scholarship Program is definitely an honour. I feel extremely privileged to be recognised as a junior athlete making positive steps in Australian sport. To have an Australian great mentoring me in this next year is definitely going to give me the best opportunity to grow and step it up a gear both personally and as an athlete. Mindset is the biggest part of the game and I’m excited to get started.”
Mentor Quote: Kristy Munroe AM (Surf Life Saving)
“I’m really excited to have this opportunity to mentor Sade Ferguson through this wonderful program that matches athletes across different sports. We hear so often ‘I wish I knew then what I know now’ and the SAHOF Scholarship and Mentoring Program provides a platform to share our experiences with these incredible rising stars. The challenges of competing on a world stage as a teenager is something I’m very honoured to be able to help Sade with.”
Joint statement from Water Ski and Wakeboard Australia and Water Ski Australia: Grant Barnett President Water Ski & Wakeboard Australia & Stafford Scott Chairman Tournament Water Ski Australia
“The selection of Sade for this prestigious Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship award has delighted all of Australian water skiing. We’re so glad to see our nomination of Sade being successful for such an award, as we couldn’t think of anyone else in any sport in Australia that is more deserving. Sade’s dedication and commitment over the past 3-4 years has seen her move from a young upcoming Australian Junior to a genuine future star of our sport on the world stage.
We’re excited to see what comes next for Sade, especially with the support and influence her mentorship from Kristy Munroe will bring. Congratulations Sade, well deserved, and we are all super proud of you!”
Tom Green: Canoe/Kayak
“It is an honour to receive a SAHOF Scholarship and to have been recognised by my peers. Being mentored by Grant Hackett, a sporting great, is a privilege that will help make my sporting dreams a reality. The opportunity to learn from someone who has been there and who has experienced the ups and downs of elite competition and can share their lessons learned with me is simply priceless. I look forward to making the most out of this opportunity and I thank everyone involved for their consideration. I hope to one day be able to mentor others to help them chase their dreams no matter how big.”
Mentor Quote: Grant Hackett OAM (Swimming)
“I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to help guide Tom through the challenges he faces as an athlete. Providing perspective through experience allows any athlete a greater chance of reaching their full potential.”
Paddle Australia Quote: Phil Jones, Chief Executive Officer
“What well deserved recognition of our up and coming paddling star Tom Green to be chosen for support through one of Australia’s most prestigious scholarship programs. Working with an athlete and role-model like Grant Hackett will be a great opportunity for Tom to continue to grow both as an athlete and as a person.
“The Sport Australia Hall of Fame scholarship tops off an amazing season for Tom. In an impressive last few weeks he has won two gold medals at the U23 canoe sprint world championships, made the K1 final in only his second senior world championships final and secured a quota place for the Olympic Games for Australia through his performance. We are confident that this scholarship will be a fantastic opportunity to progress his career even further.”
Luke Plapp: Cycling
“The opportunity to have a close relationship with a sporting icon such as Libby, who has reached the highest level in her sport, is a dream come true. Having a ‘sounding board’ to share her insights into coping with the highs and lows and to learn from some of Libby’s life lessons is going to be invaluable. At this time of my sporting journey, this opportunity will inspire me to further my sporting and career ambitions and I am exceptionally grateful.”
Mentor Quote: Libby Trickett OAM (Swimming)
“What an enormous privilege it is to work with a talented athlete such as Luke. I’m looking forward to helping him in any way that I can to support his career and get him closer to reaching his goals in the coming years.”
Cycling Australia Quote: Steve Drake, Chief Executive Officer
“It is a tremendous honour for Luke to be just one of five young athletes in the country selected into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program. It provides a great opportunity for Luke to learn from one of the very best athletes in Libby Trickett, and we wish him all the best.”
Hayley Wilson: Skateboarding
“It is a huge honour to be selected as a SAHOF Scholarship Recipient and I look forward to and will be totally committed to working with my mentor, Kevin Sheedy. It is an honour to be able to work with a sporting great who has a wealth of knowledge and experience and I look forward to being a mentee working with Kevin in areas such as life balance, striving for excellence and success, and dealing with setbacks due to injury. It will truly be a once in a lifetime opportunity which I will embrace.”
Mentor Quote: Kevin Sheedy AO (Coach – Australian Football)
“During my career I have been fortunate to gain knowledge from my mentors and believe now is the time for me to share that with Hayley an aspiring athlete from another sport.”
Skate Australia Quote: Karen Doyle, President
“On behalf of the Board of Skate Australia, we are all thrilled that Hayley has been awarded a 2020 SAHOF Scholarship and that Kevin Sheedy AO will be her mentor throughout the scholarship program. Hayley is a young woman with her sights set firmly on competing for Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Street Skateboarding. We are excited for what the future will bring. As an icon of Australian sport, I am sure Kevin will be able to give Hayley the benefit of his wisdom and experience in elite sport.”