For more than 20 years, the Greater Building Society has funded talented athletes who have the world at their feet. These athletes are high achieving students of the Hunter Academy of Sport, who receive holistic support to develop their talent to the fullest potential.
And the 2014 batch of recipients of the Greater Building Society Olympic Sports Scholarships recipients are no exception.
Since the announcement of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, The Greater has funded at least 10 athletes every year with a scholarship to assist in their training. Athletes are chosen based on their potential to represent Australia and their drive to achieve.
For Australian No. 1 Open Age Triathlete Aaron Royle, the scholarship allows him to continue his seasons in both Australia and Europe.
“The Greater’s scholarship allows me to travel to Spain at the start of the (European) season. This definitely wasn’t possible four years ago,” Aaron said.
And The Greater’s scholarship is also allowing Kailani Craine to live out her dreams in an uncommon sport in Australia - Figure Ice Skating.
“I’m so grateful for all the help I’ve had from The Greater. It means my family can come over and watch me compete and share in my dreams,” Kailani said.
Kailani’s career goal is to compete at the Korea Winter Olympics in 2018.
At a presentation at The Greater’s Head Office yesterday, scholarship recipients participated in a panel discussion about how the scholarship has helped them and the next steps for their career. Hosted by NBN News’ Mitchell Hughes, the panel were asked a series of questions about their scholarship and the effect it’s had on their career.
Australian No. 1 Heptathlete, Sophie Stanwell says the biggest expense she’s recently come across as an athlete is medical costs.
“Seeing a massage therapist and a physiotherapist at least once a week adds up,” Sophie said.
Sophie has qualified for the next Commonwealth Games and is hoping to rank at least fourth or fifth against her competition. Heptathletes compete in track and field events including long jump, javelin throw and high jump and only get three attempts at each contest.
One of the first ever recipients of a scholarship Trudi Edwards (nee Musgrave) was at the presentation. The Australian tennis player said her five scholarships were invaluable for airfare and accommodation needed when travelling at training.
“Scholarship money also helped me to travel and remain based in Newcastle, near family,” she said.
Trudi is still part of family having taken out her home loan with The Greater.
At the end of the interview, Mitchell managed to sum up what everyone thought.
“If nothing else, it feels like The Greater picks the right people [for the scholarship],” Mitchell said.
Outgoing Greater Building Society CEO, Don Magin was also presented with an award from the Hunter Academy of Sport for his dedication to sport in the Hunter.
This year’s scholarship recipients include:
- Meg Bailey –Swimming
- Taylor Corry – Swimming
- Kailani Craine –Figure Ice Skating
- Maddison Elliott –Swimming
- Teegan McCloy –Clay Target Shooting
- Georgia McConville –Water Polo
- Gordon Marshall –Water Polo
- Aaron Royle –Triathlon
- Sophie Stanwell –Track and Field
- Mariah Williams – 18 years – Hockey