Geraldton and Mid West athletes have benefited from scholarships totalling $259,000 handed out to 233 of the State’s best country athletes to help with their daily training and allow them to compete in important sporting events.
The local athletes to be awarded scholarships are headed by gun Chapman Valley cricketer Phoebe Vlahov. Others awarded scholarships are: Geraldton quintet Teigan Lawrence (badminton), Joshua Bowen (hockey), Clare Gee (netball), Siarna Bree Gaudio (squash) and James Fleming (surfing) and Morseby’s Angus Dufour (squash).
Moonyoonooka’s Lauren Rachel Cant is one of four polocrosse players to be awarded scholarships alongside Daniel and Luke Puglia (Nanson) and Stephanie Jane Solomon (Perenjori), plus Kalbarri surfer Fletcher Cremasco.
Member for Geraldton, Ian Blayney, said this year’s scholarships went to 12 Mid West athletes - 233 State-wide - affiliated with 37 sporting associations for popular sports like netball, surfing and hockey, and the more unique ones like bowhunting, clay target shooting and flying disc.
“Offering a financial hand to these young athletes means we could well be helping our next generation of State sporting stars or Olympians,” Mr Blayney said.
“Importantly it means these athletes, regardless of where they live, are getting the opportunity to train and compete at a higher level than they may otherwise have access to.”
Previous athletes who have benefitted from a Country Athlete Scholarship include Fremantle Dockers player Anthony Morabito, BMX rider Lauren Reynolds, cyclist Scott Sunderland, basketballer Mark Worthington and golfer Kristie Smith.
The State Government’s Country Athlete Scholarship program, funded through Royalties for Regions, is part of the Regional Talent Development Network Project and offers financial assistance to athletes aged 13 to 21.
A full list of Country Athlete Scholarship recipients is available at www.dsr.wa.gov.au//successful-country-athlete-scholarship-recipients-2013 .