The Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) has announced the exceptional athletes awarded a Tier 1 Scholarship within its revolutionary 2024 Scholarship & Mentoring Program, with four Olympic gold medal champions, a surfing superstar and one of Australia’s most decorated Australian Rules footballers set to mentor the country’s next generation of sporting stars.
The three-tiered scholarship program, which is backed by the Australian Sports Commission incorporating the Australian Institute of Sport, supports young elite athletes on their journey to excellence on the world stage, awarding $150,000 in funding to 32 athletes each year.
Who are the 2024 mentors for SAHOF’s program?
The six athletes awarded a Tier 1 Scholarship have been paired with a member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, having been inducted for success in and contribution to their sport.
The 2024 mentors are:
Swimming icon Dawn Fraser AC MBE, the eight-time Olympic medallist who broke 41 records during her 15-year career.
Six-time All Australian, and two-time Brownlow Medal winner Chris Judd, one of the most awarded and dynamic AFL footballers of the modern era.
Rechelle Hawkes AM, who captained the Hockeyroos and over 12 years won three Olympic gold medals, five Champions Trophies, two World Cups and a Commonwealth Games gold medal.
Surfing great Layne Beachley AO, who won seven world titles in nine years and 29 victories on the professional surfing circuit.
Pole vaulting champion Steve Hooker OAM, who remains one of only a handful of athletes to hold Olympic, World Championship, IAAF World Indoor Championship and IAAF Continental Cup titles simultaneously; and
Triple Olympic gold medallist and five-time rowing world champion Drew Ginn OAM, a member of the legendary “Oarsome Foursome”.
Who are the Tier 1 Scholarship winners for the program?
The athletes selected in Tier 1 will receive a $10,000 grant to go towards their training and competition, as well as one-on-one mentoring from these Australian sporting greats to help them reach the highest level in their chosen sport. The Tier 1 scholarship recipients are:
- Torrie Lewis (athletics – sprinting)
- Jackson Harvey (mogul skiing)
- William Petric (swimming)
- Amy Lawton (hockey)
- Jacqueline Swick (rowing)
- Mark Crosbee (canoe slalom)
Who are the Tier 1 Scholarship holders and mentors?
There will be 26 more athletes receiving Tier 2 and 3 scholarships. Tier 2 scholarships will be awarded to 10 athletes and include a $5,000 expenses grant, while Tier 3 scholarships provide 16 athletes with a $2,500 sporting expenses grant. All three tiers include SAHOF encouragement and support via various initiatives throughout the program. All three tiers are also provided with merchandise from SAHOF’s partners BLACKROLL® and Grip Star Socks.
What does the program mean for SAHOF?
Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chair and legend of Australian Sport, John Bertrand AO, commented: “The Scholarship and Mentoring Program is a powerful, game-changing program serving the broader Australian sporting landscape. Giving our emerging champions the unique opportunity to have direct access to Australia’s sporting greats is a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to learn from the best of the best, the dream builders.”
“This program wouldn’t exist without our Members. There is no further honour than induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Our Mentors share their personal experiences and wealth of knowledge in their fields to encourage these young athletes to excel in their athletic performances, face their fears and have the strength and resilience to pursue their dreams while facing the highs and lows of performing at the elite level,” Bertrand further commented.
“Dawn Fraser AC MBE, Layne Beachley AO, Steve Hooker OAM, Rechelle Hawkes AM, Chris Judd and Drew Ginn OAM – you couldn’t ask for a more decorated group of champions, and we thank them for volunteering their time and sharing their knowledge and expertise. We welcome all 32 scholarship recipients representing 26 sports into the 2024 program.”
What does this mean for Australian sports?
ASC Chair, Josephine Sukkar AM, congratulated this year’s scholarship recipients. She said: “The ASC is proud to support a program that helps elite young athletes from a range of sports including fencing, archery, athletics and more chase their sporting dreams. The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program is a wonderful initiative that has seen great success with many athletes going on to represent Australia on the world stage.”
“This financial support will no doubt provide extra incentive for young athletes to help them reach the highest level of their chosen sport, and I wish all 2024 Sport Australia Hall of Fame scholarship recipients every success with their sporting endeavours,” Sukkar further said.
Since the unique Scholarship & Mentoring Program’s inception in 2006, SAHOF has benefited 204 athletes in 53 sports. The program has been supported by 103 Mentors and has distributed more than $850,000 in funding. Many mentor-mentee relationships remain strong today, including Adam Gilchrist AM and Caitlin Parker, Debbie Watson OAM and Anabelle Smith, Nick Farr-Jones AM and Ben Tudhope, and Layne Beachley AO and Poppy Starr Olsen.