The Hunter Academy of Sport and the Greater Building Society's partnership may have just come of age but it has already helped many local athletes to realise their dream of representing Australia.
Hunter Academy of Sport CEO Ken Clifford said when it was announced that Sydney had won the bid for the 2000 Olympic Games, The Greater joined with the Academy to offer scholarships to help local athletes with Olympic potential to cover some of their costs in their preparations to be selected for the Games.
“The scholarships are now worth $2,000 and are given to ten athletes in the Hunter and manning regions annually,” Ken said.
“Recipients also receive advice from Hunter Academy of Sport consultants in areas such as sports psychology, nutrition, physical fitness, injury prevention and injury treatment.”
“More than $320,000 has been provided by The Greater to support more than 100 athletes, with some of the Olympians to have benefitted including Nathan Outteridge, Angie Bainbridge, Jenni Screen, Natalie Ward, Mathew Helm, Prue Watt, Justin Norris, Benn Harradine, Simon Orchard, Brendan Sexton, Olivia Gollan and Joshua Ross.”
Established in 1987, The Hunter Academy of Sport is the largest regional academy in Australia. It provides regional talent development programs, similar to the Australian Institute of Sport, in 28 sports.
Greater Building Society Strategic Partnerships Manager Steve Goverd said the scholarships help to develop local athletes and their sport, which makes for a stronger community.
“Businesses have an obligation to give back to the communities in which they operate,” Steve said.
He said that over the 21 years The Greater's partnership with the Academy had included other funding to:
- support other athletes and their families to meet the costs of attending programs and competing in their chosen sports
- support the implementation of an Australian-first talent programme for Indigenous athletes
- help run the Academy's athletics and tennis programmes
- run the Academy's annual awards night.
Applications close on Friday, 27 September for the 2013/14 scholarships, with the winners to be announced on Thursday, 7 November.
Greater Building Society Olympic Scholarship application forms are available from the Academy's website or from any Greater branch.
Pictured L-R | Ken Clifford, Maria Williams, Ella Hartcher, Taylor Corry, Nathan Power, Aaron Royle, Brock Griffiths, Shaun Swadling, Greg Taylor.