Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients bound for Birmingham

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Five recipients of the landmark scholarship named in honour of one of Australia’s greatest sportspeople have been selected for the Australian Commonwealth Games Team.

Wheelchair table tennis player Junjian “Jessy” Chen, sprinter Indiana “Indi” Cooper, wheelchair racer Sarah Clifton-Bligh and swimmers Jasmine Greenwood and Oscar Stubbs are the five Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients selected to the Australian Commonwealth Games Team for the Birmingham 2022 Games.

The five young Para-sport athletes are the product of the scholarship named in honour Kurt Fearnley AO, one of Australia’s greatest sportspeople.

Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) and the Carbine Club of NSW joined forces in 2019 to create the scholarship program with the goal of providing additional financial support to talented individual Para-sport athletes based in NSW who were not receiving financial support elsewhere.

The scholarship’s financial support, coupled with the training support of the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) has allowed the youngsters to achieve one of the sporting dreams of competing at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which has the largest Para-sport program in Commonwealth Games history.

Heading to her second Commonwealth Games after debuting at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, swimmer Jasmine Greenwood believes the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship program has been beneficial for her growth as a swimmer and her confidence knowing someone like Kurt Fearnley is backing her.

“I am very honoured to be on my second Commonwealth Games team,” Greenwood said.

“I am really hoping to give it my best in Birmingham… I am hoping to get over there and swim my best, and that might bring home a medal or a PB, but I will be happy to know I swam at my best.

“The Kurt Fearnley Scholarship has helped me with financial support to be able to compete at a high level and allowed me to purchase training equipment to help my swimming, but also helping me to travel to compete.

“But also being able to meet Kurt was amazing, getting to know him, I got to talk to him on the phone before heading to the Tokyo Paralympics, and hearing from him really boosted my confidence and it was really good to know he was backing me.

“So the scholarship was really beneficial.”

The namesake of the landmark program Kurt Fearnley AO was thrilled for the five scholarship recipients who are bound for Birmingham.

“Congratulations to Jasmine, Oscar, Jessy, Sarah and Indi on making the Australian Team for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games,” Fearnley said.

“Their selections to the team is a result of their hard work, determination and commitment to their sports. Their selections is not only a special day for the five Team Members, Jasmine heading to her second Games and the other four making their Commonwealth Games debuts, but also for their families, their coaches and supporters.

“I remember my first Commonwealth Games at the Delhi 2010 Games, it was a wonderful moment in my career and I know the Games in Birmingham will be a tremendous milestone in the careers and the lives of the five Team Members. Donning the green and gold and representing your nation on the international stage is a wonderful achievement, and my advice to them all is to enjoy every moment, and know the whole country is behind you.

“To have five Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients achieve one of their sporting goals in attending the Commonwealth Games, is a wonderful testament that our vision for the program is working, being able to support young Para-sport athletes in their sporting pursuits and helping them realise their dreams.

“I would like to thank the Carbine Club of NSW, Commonwealth Games Australia and New South Wales Institute of Sport, for their continued support of this program, and I know that we all can’t wait to be cheering for the five recipients and the whole Australian Team at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.”

 

 

The Carbine Club of NSW is trilled the scholarship has achieved the goals the club has always strived to achieve of honouring sport, especially junior sport in New South Wales, and to enjoy good fellowship and community.

For Caroline Searcy, the Carbine Club of NSW Chair, the Kurt Fearnley scholarship is a pleasing display of the positive impact the Club can have in the community.

“On behalf of the Carbine Club of NSW, I congratulate Sarah, Jasmine, Jessy, Oscar and Indiana on their selections to the Australian Team for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games,” Searcy said.

“To have five Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients make the Australian Commonwealth Games Team is a tremendous result for the program that we began with Commonwealth Games Australia and the New South Wales Institute of Sport in 2019. We are thrilled to have made a difference for these talented and emerging Para-sportspeople in the pursuit of their sporting goals.

“Whether our support has helped them pay for travel to interstate competitions, paying entry fees or funds to purchase new equipment, we are delighted that the KFS scholarship has been able to assist them.

“The Kurt Fearnley Scholarship has now supported 14 young Para-sport athletes in the three classes of the program, continuing the Carbine Club’s proud tradition of supporting junior sport in New South Wales.

“We look forward to continuing the scholarship through 2023, where we hope to assist another group of young Para-sport athletes with their chosen sport.

“To Sarah, Jasmine, Jessy, Oscar and Indiana, we wish you all the best of luck in Birmingham, you have done yourselves, your families and your country proud, and know that we will be cheering for you all.”

Commonwealth Games Australia President Ben Houston echoed Searcy’s remarks as the landmark program has assisted five sportspeople with achieving one of their sporting dreams.

“Congratulations to the five Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients who have been selected for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Team,” Houston said.

“Through their hard work and determination, they have been selected to represent Australia against the Commonwealth’s best para-sport athletes.

“Being able to support them through the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship program to provide funding and training support has been heartening for everyone in our organisation, and we look forward to supporting Jessica, Oscar, Jessy, Indiana and Sarah when they compete in Birmingham.

“This is a wonderful achievement for these talented para-sport Team Members, and we must thank the program namesake Kurt Fearnley for his mentorship to these talented sportspeople, the Carbine Club of New South Wales for their ongoing support of our landmark program, and the News South Wales Institute of Sport for providing training support.

“The Birmingham 2022 Australian Team will feature a record 75 para-sport Team Members, the most for any Commonwealth Games, and the Birmingham Games will feature the largest para-sport program in Commonwealth Games history, a milestone for the event.

“We are committed to supporting not only this current generation of para-sport athletes but future generations who aspire to continue the legacy of Kurt, and now Jessica, Oscar, Jessy, Indiana and Sarah at the Commonwealth Games.

“We wish our scholarship recipients and all of our Australian Team all the best for Birmingham and know that we and the rest of the country will be cheering them on.”

New South Wales Institute of Sport program manager Tom Dickson is thrilled the support from NSWIS has made an impact in the sporting journeys of these talented Para-sport athletes.

“On behalf of NSWIS, I wish to congratulate Sarah, Jasmine, Jessy, Oscar and Indiana on making the Australian Team for the Birmingham 2022!” Dickson said.

“It has been excellent to work these Para-athletes and to help them on their journey towards achieving one of their sporting dreams of competing at the Commonwealth Games.

“The results from the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients demonstrate how important this support can be for young Para-sport athletes in their sporting pursuits. To Sarah, Jasmine, Jessy, Oscar and Indiana, we wish you all the best of luck in Birmingham, know that we are all behind you, and we can’t wait to be cheering for you all.” t.

Jasmine Greenwood encourages fellow Para-sport youngsters to take advantage of applying for programs like the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship to assist with their sporting dreams.

“Don’t give up on yourself, and New South Wales is so rich with talent, especially in Para-sport, so definitely keep striving for your goals and programs like the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship really help,” Greenwood said.

“So keep giving it your best.”

 

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