Author: Steve Goverd

Hunter athletes given boost for Rio Olympics


Our partnerships manager Steve Goverd introduces the ten young athletes to whom the Greater Building Society has today given a boost to their bids for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games and the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. 


[caption id="attachment_1363" align="aligncenter" width="448" caption="Maria Williams, Ella Hartcher, Taylor Corry, Nathan Power, Aaron Royle, Brock Griffiths, Shaun Swadling"][/caption]

A total of 10 athletes from the Hunter and Manning regions, across ten different sports, have today each been awarded a $2,000 Greater Building Society Olympic Sports Scholarship. The scholarships are managed for The Greater by Hunter Academy of Sport. In addition to funding, athletes receive advice from the Academy’s consultants in areas such as sports psychology, nutrition, physical fitness, injury prevention and injury treatment.

In the 20 years the scholarships have been operating, more than $320,000 has been provided to support 90 athletes. Seven members of the Australian team for the London Games had received a scholarship and four medalled.

  • Nine time scholarship recipient Nathan Outteridge won a gold medal with fellow Lake Macquarie sailor Iain Jensen in the 49er skiff race.
  • Angie Bainbridge won silver for being a heat swimmer in the 200-metre women’s freestyle relay.
  • Jennifer Screen and the Opals won bronze in the women’s basketball.
  • Simon Orchard scored for the Kookaburras in the match against Team GB to win bronze in hockey.

The Sochi Winter Olympic Games will be held from 7 to 23 February, 2014. The Rio Olympic Games will be held from August 5 to 21, 2016.

We wish all these inspiring and talented athletes all the very best as they strive to be the best that they can be and realise their dream of competing in the greatest sporting events in the world.

The 2012-2103 Scholarship Winners are:

1.         Isobel Cootes   Age 17    Football        Warners Bay

Isobel was first selected to represent Australia at football as a 14 year old when she travelled to Vietnam as captain of the Australian Under 14 Team.  Last year she was selected to represent Australia in the Under 17 team which ravelled to New Zealand and China.

2.         Taylor Corry    Age 17        Swimming (Paralympian)       Nelson Bay

Taylor was selected to represent Australia at the 2012 Para-Olympics in London where she won Silver in both the 200 metres freestyle and the 100 metres backstroke.  She currently holds three world records in backstroke and butterfly events.

3.         Kailani Craine     Age 14     Figure Skating             Waratah

Kailani has this year been selected to represent Australia in the Cup of Nice Tournament in France and the Ice Challenge Tournament in Austria.  She is ranked as the top junior female ice skater in Australia and is the current Hunter (Junior and Senior) Figure Skating Champion.

4.         Brock Griffiths   Age 14        BMX Cycling         Cardiff South

Brock was this year selected to represent Australia in the National Development Team which competed in a Trans Tasman Test Series. He was a bronze medallist at the National Championships this year at Mount Gambier and has won gold in various events at state level during the year.

5.         Ella Hartcher  Age 17     Archery      Burrell Creek

Ella this year was selected in the NSW State Youth Archery Team to compete in the National Youth Championships held in Armidale and also in the Australian Junior Trans Tasman Team to represent Australia in Rotorua, New Zealand.  In Armidale she won 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal and Rotorua a bronze medal.

6.         Nathan Power   Age 19    Water Polo       New Lambton

In 2011 Nathan was the Australian Junior (Under 18) captain and Australian Schoolboys’ captain.  He was also named the Most Valuable Player at the National Under 18 Championships in 2011, and in 2012 represented NSW at the National Under 20 Championships.  Nathan has played in the Hunter Hurricanes National League Men’s Team in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and has been a NSW Senior Country Representative since 2009. He was awarded a scholarship last year.

7.         Aaron Royle     Age 22       Triathlon     Maryland

During this year Aaron has been competing successfully on the tough European circuit.  He won the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Championships under-23 event in Auckland in October, the 2012 Oceania Sprint Triathlon Championship in New Zealand and the Canary Wharf Cup in London.  He placed third in the Australian Sprint Championship in Geelong and in the Oceania Olympic Distance Triathlon in Devonport, Tasmania. Aaron was awarded a scholarship last year.

8.        Shaun Swadling    Age 19      Trampoline      Charlestown

During this year Shaun finished second in the Individual Trampoline Event at the Australian Titles.  He was selected to represent Australia in the World Cup in China and as the Olympic reserve for London.  He has been a member of the Australian Open Squad during this year and represented Australia in the Pacific Rim Event in Seattle.

9.      Laura Whaler    Age 25   Athletics (Sprints)         East Maitland

Laura was selected in the 2011 Australian 4 x 100 metres relay team to compete in the World Championships in Korea and in the 2012 Shadow Squad for the London Olympics.  She has been a dual silver medalist (in the 100 and 200 metres at national level) and has represented Australia on a number of occasions in the 4 x 100 metre relay event. She is a multiple scholarship winner.

10.     Mariah Williams      Age 17       Hockey     Teralba

During this year Mariah has been selected in the National Under 21 World Cup Squad.  She is a NSW Institute of Sport Scholarship holder and has represented NSW at both under 21 and under 18 levels.  She was selected as the Player of the Carnival at the NSW Schools Championships.