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Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients achieving a dream in Tokyo

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Five Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients have been selected in the Australian Paralympic Team to take on the world’s best Para-athletes starting next week.

Wheelchair racer Luke Bailey, sprinter Alissa Jordaan, wheelchair basketballer Jessica Cronje, and swimmers Jasmine Greenwood and Ricky Betar are the five Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients who have been selected to the Australian Paralympic Team for the Tokyo Games.

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

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 the Paralympics but also with an eye on the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which has the largest Para-sport program in Commonwealth Games history.

KURT FEARNLEY SCHOLARSHIP ALUMNI ALISSA JORDAAN IS READY TO MAKE HER MARK IN TOKYO

Inaugural Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipient Alissa Jordaan can’t wait to “leave it all out on the track” as she prepares for her debut Paralympics as a member of the Australian athletics squad.

Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive officer Craig Phillips AM celebrated the selections of the five Para-sport athletes to the Tokyo team and how their hard work and determination will inspire the next crop of youngsters in the scholarship program who have their sights set on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond.

“Congratulations to the five Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients who have been selected for the Australian Paralympic Team,” Phillips said.

“Through hard work and determination they have been selected to represent Australia against the world’s best.

“Being able to support them through funding and training support has been heartening for everyone in our organisation, and we look forward to supporting Luke, Jessica, Ricky, Jasmine and Alissa at the Paralympics.

“We hope to see not only these five talented young Para-sport athletes but many more representing the green and gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“The Birmingham Games will feature the largest Para-sport program in Commonwealth Games history, and as we prepare to welcome our next class of Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients for 2022, we hope the incoming scholarship class take inspiration from these five alumni members, who are achieving one of their sporting goals, to continue striving towards their own sporting goals in the future.”

KURT FEARNLEY SCHOLARSHIP ALUMNI JESSICA CRONJE “EXCITED” TO REPRESENT AUSTRALIA AT THE TOKYO PARALYMPICS

Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipient Jessica Cronje is “really excited” to be heading to her first Paralympics as a member of the Australian Gliders Wheelchair Basketball team.

Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) and the Carbine Club of NSW joined forces in 2019 to create the scholarship program targeting talented individual Para-sport athletes based in NSW, and already the scholarship is producing results.

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.

“To have five Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients make the Australian Paralympic Team for the Tokyo Paralympics is a tremendous achievement,” Searcy said.

“We are thrilled to have made a difference for these talented young Para-sport athletes 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 the KFS scholarship has been able to assist them.

“The Kurt Fearnley Scholarship has now supported 10 young Para-sport athletes in the two classes of the program so far, continuing the Carbine Club’s proud tradition of supporting junior sport in New South Wales.

“We look forward to continuing the scholarship through 2022, where we hope to assist another group of young Para-sport athletes with their chosen sport.

“To Alissa, Ricky, Jessica, Luke and Jasmine, we wish you all the best of luck in Tokyo, you have done yourselves, your families and your country proud, we will be cheering for you all.”

TOKYO THE REWARD OF HARD WORK FOR KURT FEARNLEY SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT LUKE BAILEY

For wheelchair racer Luke Bailey competing at the Tokyo Paralympics will see the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipient achieve one of his sporting dreams and see the youngster begin to emulate the feats of one of his heroes, Kurt Fearnley.

The five youngsters are eager to represent their country and shine on the world stage and credit the support the scholarship has provided them with achieving one of their sporting goals.

“Knowing that I could talk to Kurt Fearnley and that he was a part of my support network for athletics was enough in itself,” Alissa Jordaan said.

“He is such an inspiration to me. I had his number in my phone and I could just contact him and talk to him about any little questions I had and that meant a lot to me to know I have his support.

“Also, the financial aid that the scholarship brought, it paid for a two-week training camp at the Gold Coast and some new training equipment. It funded a trip to Western Australia to compete at All Schools Nationals, so it was a massive help and it kind of kept things going and helped a lot.”

“In 2019, I received the Kurt Fearnley scholarship, and I moved to Newcastle to train full-time,” Luke Bailey said.

“I moved in with Andrew and his wife Christie Dawes, for about a month, and it helped me a lot with paying for equipment and paying for competitions. I think if it wasn’t for the scholarship, I don’t think I would have gone this far in my sport. It has helped out so much… I am grateful [for the scholarship] and to have met Kurt.”

“The scholarship helped me out enormously,” Jessica Cronje said.

“It allowed me to buy extra specialised equipment that I needed to train and run specialised sessions with my coach. It also gave us the opportunity to put in extra work with one-on-one coaching.”

“The scholarship was awesome, it allowed me to buy a lot of equipment and covered some of my accommodation expenses and entry fees,” Jasmine Greenwood said.

“It has been super helpful in my swimming career.”

“It meant a lot being selected in the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship… having that financial support helped fund equipment and my racing,” Ricky Betar said.

Commonwealth Games Australia will be cheering for them all.

KURT FEARNLEY SCHOLARSHIP ALUMNI TAKING THE STARTING BLOCKS IN TOKYO POOL

Two of the inaugural Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipients, Para-swimmers Jasmine Greenwood and Ricky Betar, have been selected to the Australian Paralympic Team for the Tokyo Games.

The Kurt Fearnley Scholarship program will continue into 2022 with additional young Para-sport athletes based in New South Wales.

Designed to support para-sport ‘future talent’ athletes who receive limited support elsewhere and fast track their development to achieve success at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Kurt Fearnley Scholarship holders receive financial support up to $3750 based on their individual requirements, New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) program support up to $1000 including assistance with performance planning and access to NSWIS facilities, and most importantly, mentorship from the dual Commonwealth Games and three-time Paralympic gold medallist.

We look forward to celebrating this new class that will continue to build on the success of the scholarship’s two classes with an eye on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, but for now we will be cheering for the five alumni who will be donning the green and gold in Tokyo.

Kurt Fearnley Scholarship Recipients

Name Sport Kurt Fearnley Scholarship class
Alissa Jordaan Para-athletics 2019
Luke Bailey Para-athletics 2019
Jessica Cronje Wheelchair Basketball 2020
Jasmine Greenwood Para-swimming 2019
Ricky Betar Para-swimming 2019

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