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Variety Scholarships Help Kiwi Kids Reach Their Dreams

Variety Scholarships Help Kiwi Kids Reach Their Dreams

Variety – The Children’s Charity is proud to help 21 talented Kiwi kids to reach their full potential and overcome their personal challenges with a 2012 Variety Gold Heart Scholarship. Gold Heart Scholarships form part of Variety’s Future Kiwi Kids programme which supports young people who excel in the arts, sports or education. A scholarship provides financial support of up to $5,000 and matches scholars with a mentor to help them achieve their goals.

Gold Heart Scholarships are available for up to three years to help Kiwi kids who are physically or financially challenged to fulfil their dreams. This could include assisting with tuition fees, personal development, coaching, and the purchase of training equipment, travel or accommodation.

Year One
Lillian Perese (12) from Glen Innes has a passion for dance and has passed exams in Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz and Tap with either merit or distinction. In 2007, Lillian received the highest grade in Australasia for dance and she plans to complete a dance degree in the future.
Siblings York Popham (17) and Jag Popham (15) from Mangere Bridge. York has completed her Diploma of Dance Performance and excels in her field of Jazz and Ballet, and plans to have a career as a ballet dancer with a a repertoire which ranges from classical to contemporary. Jag excels in Classical ballet and Contemporary dance and in 2011 passed his ballet and contemporary exams with the highest grades.
Holly Robinson (17) from Mosgiel is a committed athlete who has represented New Zealand in the International Paralympic World Championships, and excels in javelin and shot put. Holly would like to win a medal at the 2016 Paralympic games and achieve number 1 in the world for Javelin.
Daniel Gaualofa from Kerikeri (14) is a champion swimmer and collect seven medals (two Gold) in the Paralympic NZ National Swimming Champs. Daniel would like to be a Gold Medal Olympian and qualify for the NZ Open Championships for swimming in 2012.
• Bronze medal 2011 WSF Para-snowboard World Cup winner Shakti Krishnan (14) from Hamilton is a motivated and talented athlete who is focused on representing New Zealand at the Paralympic Games in the future. Shakti also excels in table tennis playing and in 2010 won a Gold Medal in the NZ Para table tennis champs.
15-year-old Jacob Phillips from Hamilton is a talented young athlete who already has won two bronze medals at the Paralympic Champs. Jacob’s goal is to represent New Zealand at the Paralympics one day.
11-year-old Salem Foxx from Paraparaumu for ballet. Salem has appeared in The Royal Ballets ‘Nutcracker’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and is described by teachers as possessing “a rare professionalism for one so young”. Salem would like to be a ballet dancer, teacher and travel the world dancing.
• Performing arts student Fynn Ellison (8) from Kaiapoi. Fynn won the 2011 lead role in Ollie, and represented NZ in the Battle of the Countries for dancing and plans to perform on Broadway one day.
9-year-old Benedict Lim from Kaiapoi is a talented violinist and pianist who has already collected a Gold Medal at the International Young Musicians Festival. Benedict’s talent and his ability to quickly learn pieces enables him to pick up complex technical challenges easily, and in the future he hopes to be a professional musician.
Judo champion Keilamarita (15) has passed her NCEA Level 1 with excellence and has been selected to represent New Zealand at the 2012 Oceania Judo Union Championships. Keilamarita is focused on being the best she can be at everything she does, and as well as representing NZ in major judo tournaments she also plans to attend University once she finishes Secondary school.

Year Two
17-year-old Ayush Bhatnagar from Mt Roskill has a successful history of competing both domestically and internationally in the Special Olympics for table tennis. In 2011, Ayush competed at the Arafura Games in Darwin, where he won two silver medals in team events and one silver medal in the singles event.
Nathan Brown (11) from Henderson has been selected for the New Zealand development squad for diving, and placed 1st in Wellington’s 2012 Autumn diving championships over five events. Nathan continues to show passion and dedication towards his training which is reflected by his achievements over the past year.
17-year-old Jessica Williams (17) from Upper Hutt is a multi-talented and gifted performer, artist and vocalist. She recently collected two Chilton Gold Awards for solo and choral vocal performance; passed her grade 8 Trinity Examination with distinction; and was commissioned to paint covers for the Chilton Saint James Seraphim and 2012 Seraphim Choir album covers.
Artistic roller skater Nicole Silver (16) from Palmerston North is a 2012 Silver medalist in the New Zealand Championships and has been selected to represent NZ at the Oceania competition. Nicole’s goal is to win medals at the Oceania’s 2012, and make the world team for NZ.
• Swimmer Nikita Howarth (13) from Cambridge has been selected for the Paralympics new Zealand national team to compete in the British International swimming champs this year. She is a committed athlete with a passion for swimming, and aims to hold the world record in 100m breast stroke, and win a Gold medal at the Paralympics.
Scott Galloway (14) from Wellington placed fourth in the World European Federation for squash, and is a representative of the Wellington Junior elite team. He also won the Scottish Junior open last year and was the Under 13 Australian Junior series winner.

Year Three
15-year-old Matthew Roets from Glenfield was ranked 21st in the 2011 ITU World Triathlon for U19, and in 2012 won 2nd place at the Auckland Secondary schools team tag championships. Matthew would like to represent New Zealand in cycling and triathlon events, and his goal is to attend the Youth Olympics.
Jesse Reynolds (15) from Hamilton has been selected to attend the international Paralympic swimming meet in Cincinnati and currently holds 19 Paralympic New Zealand swimming records. Jesse’s goal is to win gold at the Paralympics.
12-year-old Natasha Boon from Rangiora is an accomplished gymnast and dancer who has achieved remarkable results in New Zealand and Australia. In the 2012 Australian National dance championships she took three Gold Medals and in the 2011 Canterbury gymnastics championships she took home three gold and two silver medals. Natasha aims for excellence in everything she does and commits 32 hours a week to training.
Tyla (12) from Opotiki was New Zealand’s youngest female to play interprovincial competition golf. Tyla is ranked 10th overall in New Zealand’s women’s amateur golf league and her goal is to win the NZ under 15 title.

Variety – The Children’s Charity would like to thank CMC Markets who have funded six scholarships this year, and Contours Gym Greenlane, FORD, and New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, who all sponsor Gold Heart Scholars.


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