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Young Canterbury athletes win sport scholarships


Young Canterbury athletes win sport scholarships

Sixty-five talented athletes studying in Canterbury 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.

Sixty-five talented athletes studying in Canterbury 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 65 athletes are amongst a group of over 400 nationwide who were offered scholarships this year, worth up to $16,000 each per annum.

Trevor Mallard presented the scholarships at a reception in Christchurch today.

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

"Our government has committed $5 million each year 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.

Recipients include Hayden Shaw, a member of the New Zealand Men's Hockey team that recently qualified for the Olympics, and Jodie Te Huna, a member of the Silver Ferns netball team that won the 2003 World Championship. Both are studying for a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning.

Another recipient is Matthew Slade, who won two gold medals at last year's World Wheelchair Games. He will be competing at the Paralympics in Athens and is working towards a diploma in sports studies.

"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 would have their full tertiary fees paid, up to $10,000 per annum, and also be eligible for an allowance worth up to $6000.

"This allowance is dependent on athletes' study loads. 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.

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