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Young NZers Win Mentoring With Top Sports Stars

7 December 2007

Ten Young New Zealanders Win Mentoring With Top Sports Stars

Ten future Olympic hopefuls have been announced as winners of mentoring programmes with five of this country's most successful sports stars in the Inspiring New Zealanders Olympic Sport scholarship programme.

The young sports men and women entered for the opportunity to be partnered with one of five mentors - triathletes Hamish Carter and Bevan Docherty, cyclist Sarah Ulmer, skier Claudia Riegler, and a new addition to the programme this year, windsurfer Barbara Kendall.

The scholarship package includes two workshops with one on one mentoring sessions, ongoing contact and support from their mentor throughout the year, and travel on an Air New Zealand flight to compete in an international sporting event.

The winners, as judged by Air New Zealand mentors and a New Zealand Olympic Committee representative, are:

Name Sport Home town Mentor Clark Ellice Triathlon New Plymouth Hamish Carter Sarah Saddleton Track & Field Waiuku Hamish Carter Max Andrews Yachting Devonport Bevan Docherty Kane Radford Swimming Rotorua Bevan Docherty Tania Perret Canoe Polo Nelson Barbara Kendall Jo Aleh Yachting Muriwai Barbara Kendall Nick Hyne Snowboarding Mt Manganui Claudia Riegler Ben Griffen Skiing Ohakune Claudia Riegler Lauren Ellis Cycling Ashburton Sarah Ulmer Natalie Wiegersma Swimming Invercargill Sarah Ulmer

The Air New Zealand Inspiring New Zealanders Olympic Sport scholarship programme was launched last year, and is focused on providing mentoring and support for future Olympic athletes.

Recipient of last year's scholarship, Alpine Ski Racer Timothy Café, spent time with Claudia Rielgler in one-on-one sessions and with Mike Chu, NZRU High Performance Manager and Mental Skills Coach.

Both mentor and recipient have found the Inspiring New Zealanders scholarship programme hugely beneficial over the last year.

"The workshops have helped me immensely with my motivation, drive and focus. Through Claudia sharing her experiences and providing invaluable advice, I have really improved my mental approach to race day preparation and managing the psychological pressure associated with performing at an elite level," says Timothy Café.

Timothy's mentor Claudia has also thoroughly enjoyed being part of the programme.

"Being able to share and pass on my experience and knowledge to younger athletes rather than keeping it inside me has been fantastic. Tim has grown significantly between the first and second workshops and it has been great to be a part of that," says Claudia Riegler.

This year's recipients will have their first workshop in January 2007 and are able to take their international flight for any competition during the year.

ENDS

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