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Sport Australia Hall of Fame to ’embrace the future’ with scholarship program

From young speedsters to Olympic aspirants, 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 2019 Scholarship and Mentoring Program.

Now in its 12th 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 2019 include Paralympic distance runner Jaryd Clifford, Olympic snowboarder Tess Coady, rising rower Giorgia Patten, promising diver Cassiel Rousseau and motor racing prodigy Cameron Shields.

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, 11th October 2018 at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.

The dinner’s theme to ‘honour the past, celebrate the present, embrace the future’ suits the program perfectly as successful recipients receive one-on-one personal mentoring by a current member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Recipients will also be awarded a $5,000 sporting expenses grant.

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame 2019 Scholarship and Mentoring Program







Jaryd Clifford






Greensborough, VIC


Lauren Burns OAM


Tess Coady






St Kilda, VIC


Nick Green OAM


Giorgia Patten






Gooseberry Hill, WA


Rechelle Hawkes AM


Cassiel Rousseau






Ormiston, QLD


Karla Gilbert OAM
Surf Life Saving


Cameron Shields


Motor Racing




Toowoomba, QLD


Graeme Lloyd

“I feel extremely privileged,” said Tess Coady, who at 17 was the youngest Australian member to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympic Team, but unfortunately sustained a knee injury at training and had to withdraw before she could compete.

“I am really looking forward to meeting and getting to know my mentor Nick Green, and I feel he will be able to offer me some extremely valuable advice.”

Coady, who only started competing internationally in 2017, rose to prominence after claiming both the big air and slopestyle junior world championship titles in 2017.

“It is a great privilege to be able to pass on some of my knowledge to Tess,” said mentor Nick Green, member of Australia’s legendary ‘Oarsome Foursome’.

“Having teenage daughters of my own, I know that I will be able to listen to Tess and support and guide her growth as an athlete.”
World Para Athletics bronze medallist Jaryd Clifford echoes those sentiments.

“It’s an honour to read the names of those who have come before me and remember how far they have come since their youth,” Clifford said.

Born with a degenerative eye condition, Clifford shaved three seconds of the T12 (visually impaired) 1500m world record in 2018 before becoming the first ever Paralympian to compete at the able-bodied IAAF World U20 Championships – a feat recognised by the Laureus Awards in their September Sporting Moment of the Month.

Clifford will be mentored by 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Lauren Burns, Australia’s only Olympic gold medallist in Taekwondo.

Since before he could barely walk, Toowoomba-born Cameron Shields has loved motor racing. After many wins, losses and ambulance trips, Shields was about to give up his love of racing, before an opportunity arose to drive race cars and after only four months was invited to drive in Australia’s fastest circuit – Formula 3.

At just 14-years-of-age, Shields was racing with speeds of over 250kph, two years before he could even apply for his Queensland learners permit.

In 2016, still unable to legally drive on Queensland roads, Shields went on to become the youngest person to win a National Formula 3 Championship. In 2019 he’ll be mentored by two-time World Series Baseball champion Graeme Lloyd.

“I really love the idea of mentoring athletes from different sports,” Lloyd said.

“I think it can open up a whole new facet or way of thinking that might not have been explored yet.”

Former acrobatic gymnast Cassiel Rousseau has made an immediate impact after making the switch to diving. After being inspired by his sisters, Rousseau first started diving in 2017, and in 2018 won the junior nationals 3m springboard and claimed silver in the 1m springboard. Selected to compete at the FINA Junior World Championships, Rousseau unfortunately had to withdraw due to a back injury but has already set his sights on more international competition next year.

Cassiel’s grandfather was French cyclist Michel Rousseau, who won the 1956 Olympic track cycling sprint gold medal in Melbourne. Rousseau will be mentored by dominant world Ironwoman champion Karla Gilbert.

West Australian rower Giorgia Patten is a rising star in her sport, having recently returned from the U23 World Rowing Championships where she placed 5th in the women’s pair final.

With a passion for competitive racing, Patten is currently studying full-time at Curtin University in Perth, for a Bachelor of Physiotherapy while also training at WAIS to achieve her rowing goals.

With the goal of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Patten will be mentored by Hockeyroos captain and three-time Olympic gold medallist Rechelle Hawkes.

Sport Australia Hall of Fame chair John Bertrand AO said, “The Sport Australia Hall of Fame is supporting our dream builders. Young men and women giving it a go, following their dreams at the highest level.”

For more quotes from both Mentors and the National Sporting Organisations, see below.

About The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program

Since the introduction of the Program in 2006, 76 scholarships across 34 sports have been awarded.

Such is the success of the program, proudly supported by Victoria University that 20 past and present scholarship recipients recently represented Australia at the 2018 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where past recipients captured six golds, seven silvers and one bronze medal.

Notable graduates of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program include Patrick Mills (basketball), Lauren Mitchell (gymnastics), Jessicah Schipper (swimming), Dylan Alcott (wheelchair basketball), Caroline Buchanan (BMX), Michael Hepburn (cycling), Ashleigh Gentle (triathlon), Annabelle Smith (diving) and Dani Samuels (athletics).

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

The scholarships will be formally presented at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday 11th October 2018 at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.

2018 will mark the 34th edition of Australian sport’s night of nights and will be highlighted by the induction of eight Australian sporting icons, from on and off the field, into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

In addition, one existing Hall of Fame Member will be elevated to Legend status, becoming the 40th official Legend of Australian sport.

The night will also celebrate the announcement of ‘The Don’ Award to the athlete or team who, through their performance and example over the past 12 months, has most inspired the nation.

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.

Jaryd Clifford (Athletics):

“I am honoured to receive this scholarship for its recognition of my potential to one day etch my own name alongside the sporting heroes of our nation. It is also an honour to read the names of those who have come before me and remember how far they have come since their own youth.”

“To then be granted one-one-one access with one of those heroes, the great Lauren Burns, is an opportunity that will hopefully see me grown as an athlete, but also as a person in life.”

Mentor, Lauren Burns OAM (Taekwondo):

“Jaryd is a talented and passionate athlete and I am absolutely thrilled to be working with him. I am looking forward to assisting him in any way I can towards his journey to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”

Darren Gocher, CEO, Athletics Australia:

“It is fantastic that Jaryd has been selected for the Scholarship. He is an incredible athlete that has had an amazing season.”

“Athletics Australia is beyond proud of Jaryd’s hard work and dedication, we are looking forward to seeing what Jaryd can achieve in the future.”


Tess Coady (Snowboard):

“I am extremely privileged to be a successful SAHOF Scholarship recipient. I am really looking forward to meeting and getting to know my mentor Nick Green, and I feel he will be able to offer me some extremely valuable advice. This scholarship is a really great opportunity for me and will be very helpful for the future of my career.”

Mentor, Nick Green OAM (Rowing):

“It is a great privilege to be able to pass on some of my knowledge to Tess, I also can’t wait to learn from her. Having teenage daughters of my own, I know that I will be able to listen to Tess and support and guide her growth as an athlete. She has a bright future ahead and I can’t wait to be part of it.”

Geoff Henke AO, Chairman, Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA):

“I can’t think of anyone more worthy of this recognition by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. This scholarship is bound to give Tess further encouragement to succeed in the future.”

Michael Kennedy, CEO, Ski and Snowboard Australia:

“Tess Coady is an emerging star of the International Snowboard scene. Having won double Junior World Titles in 2017 she qualified for the Australian Olympic team as its youngest member. Despite suffering a bitter setback when she injured herself in training at the Olympics in Korea, the manner in which she handled that disappointment and has committed herself to her recovery and to her sport shows exactly the kind of character required to be a champion.”

“We are excited for Tess’s future and particularly the opportunity for her to be mentored by an Australian sporting champion as part of the SAHOF mentor program. She is deserving recipient and we are excited to watch her journey towards Beijing 2022 and beyond.”


Giorgia Patten (Rowing):

“I am very excited to receive this scholarship, it is an amazing opportunity to be mentored by an extremely successful athlete.”

“I’m really looking forward to learning from Rechelle on being the best person I can be while balancing life as an elite athlete and studying physiotherapy. Support from a role model such as Rechelle will greatly assist me in many aspects of my life but most importantly to achieve my dreams as an athlete in the sport I love that is rowing.”

Mentor, Rechelle Hawkes AM (hockey):

“Giorgia is a 20-year-old on a mission. She is a rising star in the sport of rowing and whilst committing to her busy rowing schedule, she also finds the time to study physiotherapy and volunteer at her local rowing club. With this drive and commitment, she is already displaying at such a young age, I can’t wait to work with Giorgia, as she displays the type of qualities which are the building blocks to future success and I am very excited about her future prospects.”

Ian Robson, CEO, Rowing Australia:

“On behalf of all the rowing community, we would like to congratulate Giorgia on receiving a scholarship under the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.”

“It’s the first time since 2011 that a rower has been awarded a scholarship and we are all thrilled to see a developing athlete such as Giorgia be mentored by someone of Rechelle Hawkes’ calibre. I have no doubt that she will eagerly absorb any knowledge and advice shared with her and then transfer it into her rowing career.”

“We’re also delighted to see Olympic gold medalist, Nick Green mentoring Tess Coady in the program.”


Cassiel Rousseau (Diving):

“I feel extremely privileged to have been offered a SAHOF Scholarship. As an athlete, one gets advice from coaches, teachers, parents and fellow athletes. This scholarship offers me an invaluable tool which few athletes are lucky enough to get, a sporting great, a mentor, in my case Karla Gilbert. Karla has achieved so much, both in and out of her sporting career, so to have a mentor who can give me advice on life lessons will be priceless.”

“I am delighted to have access to an Aussie great and look forward to learning from Karla and be able to pass on what I learn from her to younger athletes.”

Mentor, Karla Gilbert OAM (surf life saving):

“Cassiel is already stamping his authority in the sport of diving and I’m honoured to be stepping in and supporting his goals through mentoring.”

“Diving is a sport that requires crazy amounts of focus and mental strength and this is the area where I hope to assist Cassiel in developing further. Cassiel has achieved so much at such a young age and his future in the sport is certainly looking very bright”

David Bell, CEO, Diving Australia:

“Cassiel is a fine young man and has carried on the tradition of gymnastics being a fantastic feeder for diving – having only been diving for a year, Cassiel’s transition has been amazing and the support of this wonderful Sport Australia Hall of Fame scholarship, especially with the ability for him to now be mentored by an icon such as Karla Gilbert will significantly increase his chances of continuing his meteoric rise in our sport.”

“On behalf of Diving Australia, thank you SAHOF and especially Karla for helping Cassiel – we are truly grateful, and I know Cass is as well.”


Cameron Shields (Motor Racing):

“To be selected in one of Australia’s most prestigious scholarship programs is remarkable. The recognition I may receive from being a part of this program and the advice from my mentor will be invaluable for the progression of my racing career. This is the beginning of a new journey for me and it is one I cannot wait to embark on.”

Mentor, Graeme Lloyd (baseball):

“I am looking forward to this opportunity and challenge to help this young talent improve and become the force that I believe he can be in racing.”

“I really love the idea of mentoring athletes from different sports. I think it can open up a whole new facet or way of thinking that might not have been explored yet.”

Eugene Arocca, CEO, Confederation of Australian Motor Sport:

“Cameron gives motor sport his all and should be congratulated for being recognised with this scholarship.”

“The Sport Australia Hall of Fame scholarship is a terrific opportunity for someone like Cameron who is showing tremendous skill whenever he races in the CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship.”

“Working with an athlete like Graeme Lloyd, who has competed in one of the biggest leagues in the world, including playing for the New York Yankees – one of the most iconic teams in the world – will be a terrific learning experience for Cameron and one that will certainly help him become the best driver and athlete he can be.”


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