Six budding Para-athletes have already benefited from the words of encouragement and inspiration of one of Australia’s greatest ever athletes after being named as recipients of the 2020 Kurt Fearnley Scholarship.

Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) and the Carbine Club of NSW have again joined to present the scholarship program, which targets talented Para-athletes in NSW.

The initiative receives program support from the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and is also fully endorsed by Paralympics Australia.

Designed to support Para-sport ‘future talent’ athletes who receive limited support elsewhere, and fast-track their development to achieve success at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship provides financial support up to $3750 and NSWIS program support up to $1000.

Building on the success of the scholarship’s inaugural year in 2019, the class of 2020 will benefit from mentoring by one of Australian sport’s most admired athletes.

Fearnley, who bowed out of international competition with an emotional marathon win at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, said he was looking forward to working with the second group of scholarship holders after a successful first year.

“Our first group of athletes have all produced excellent results in 2019, including Jasmine Greenwood, who at just 14, won an Australian title and won bronze at the 2019 World Para-swimming Championships, along with six other top eight placings, as did Ricky Betar with bronze in the [mixed] 4x100m freestyle [S14], and he also set world records in the S14 50m and 100m freestyle events during 2019,” Fearnley said.

“Wheelchair racer Luke Bailey made his Australian representative debut at the World Para-athletics Championships, and he also won the Australian open T54 200m crown in March. And Alissa Jordaan finished eighth in the ambulant long jump and 11th in the ambulant 100m at the national titles.

“And it’s great to be able to support Aimee Fisher for the second year. We felt the support could make the difference in her progression after winning the Australian senior [women’s 100m T54 and women’s 200m T54] titles in 2019.”

CGA’s Chief Executive, Craig Phillips, said the scholarship program was an important part of developing the next Para-sport representatives at the Commonwealth Games.

“The Birmingham 2022 Games, with eight Para-sports, will have more Para-sport events on the program at a Commonwealth Games than ever before, and we want to provide our young athletes with the opportunity to fulfil their sporting aspirations,” Phillips said.

Bernie Campbell, Chairman of the Carbine Club of NSW, said the Club was proud to continue their support of the scholarship.

“The Carbine Club are proud to partner with one of Australia’s greatest sportsmen to assist junior Para-sport athletes achieve their dreams. We have a tradition of supporting junior sport in NSW and the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship furthers that commitment,” Campbell said.

NSWIS Chief Executive, Kevin Thompson, said he was proud of the achievements of the inaugural class and welcomes the new class of recipients.

“The results from the class of 2019 demonstrate how important this support can be for young Para-athletes, so we are pleased to continue our partnership with the program and look forward to welcoming the 2020 Kurt Fearnley Scholarship holders to NSWIS,” Thompson said.

Recipients – 2020 Kurt Fearnley Scholarship
Athlete Age Suburb Sport
Jessica Cronje 22 Narellan, NSW Wheelchair basketball
Aimee Fisher 18 Thornton, NSW Para-athletics
Kailyn Joseph 17 Cherrybrook, NSW Para-athletics
Maryanne Latu 21 Hebersham, NSW Wheelchair basketball
Benjamin Said 17 Dee Why, NSW Para-cycling
Oscar Stubbs 19 Glenwood, NSW Para-swimming

Posted: 27/03/2020