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Top young athletes win sport scholarships

Top young athletes win sport scholarships

More than 53 talented athletes from Otago and Southland have received the Prime Minister’s sporting scholarships to help them reach their sporting and educational goals, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard announced today. The 53 athletes are part of the 155 South Island-based scholarship recipients from a pool of 463 athletes nationwide who were offered this year’s scholarships, worth up to $16,000 each per annum.

Trevor Mallard presented the scholarships at a ceremony at McMillan Multi Sports Centre, Dunedin.

The Prime Minister’s Scholarships are a government initiative, administered on its behalf by the New Zealand Academy of Sport. They were established in 2000 to help athletes pursue academic or trade studies as well as sporting careers.

“Our government has committed $9 million over three years for the programme because we want to support young sportspeople achieving excellence in their field. These scholarships help young athletes who have the potential to become the next generation of New Zealand's outstanding sportspeople,” Helen Clark said.

Silver Fern Lesley Nicol is among today’s recipients of the Prime Minister’s scholarships. Lesley Nicol has completed her medical studies and is now studying for a post-graduate diploma in Athlete and Career Education. She is a member of the successful Southern Sting team leading the National Bank Cup and will line up against England for the Silver Ferns in June.

Another recipient was James Arnott, who is currently studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Otago University. He is a member of the New Zealand National Ski Squad and recently competed at the World University Games in Italy. He aims to gain selection for the New Zealand Team which will attend the 2006 Olympics in Turino.

“It is important for sportspeople to have balance in their lives. Studying for a tertiary qualification while also training in their sport ensures that other opportunities will exist for them once they retire from their sport," Helen Clark said.

Trevor Mallard said athletes receiving scholarships will have their full tertiary fees paid, of up to $10,000 per annum.

“Athletes may also be entitled to an allowance which is dependent on their study loading. This is a huge help for those who are struggling to make ends meet while juggling their busy lives.” Scholarships are available to athletes who are either currently carded by their national sport organisation and accessing services linked to the New Zealand Academy of Sport, or to athletes from non-carded sports who are prioritised by their national sport organisation.

There will be a second intake for the scholarship programme in June, allowing newly carded athletes to apply.

Attached: List of Prime Minister’s Sports Scholarship recipients from the South Island.

Martyn Croy, Prime Minister's Scholarship Co-ordinator – New Zealand Academy of Sport – South Island (03) 477 4410. Email:martyn@asi.org.nz

Prime Minister’s Sports Scholarships – Otago and Southland AFL Marcus Jones Athletics Peter Cox Kelly Edge Max Smith Badminton Allan Hoffman Basketball Mark Bracewell Kim Davis Donna Loffhagen BMX Haden de Boer Cricket Jordan Sheed Curling Bridget Becker Cycling Matthew King Marcus Roy Hockey Vicky Clarke David Rankin Ice Hockey Susan Green Braden Lee Stephen Reid Ice Skating Claire Gregory Judo Deney Hayward Netball Stephanie Bond Adine Harper Lesley Nicol Anna Scarlett Alison Shanks Minipreet Singh-Padda Wendy Telfer Orienteering Penelope Kane Rowing Grant Carroll Rugby Toby Morland James Ryan Adam Thomson Skiing Alastair Eason Philippa Greig James Arnott Snowboarding Juliane Bray Soccer Edward Mason Squash Jaclyn Hawkes Surfing Felix Dickson Surf Life Saving Rachel Beale Emma Crofskey Tim Hunt Swimming Andrew McMillan Elizabeth van Welie Synchronised Swimming Lisa Daniels Nina Daniels Touch Rugby Joshua Hall Rebecca Hooper Underwater Hockey Zoe Firth Volleyball Jane Anderson Wrestling Aron Miller

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