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Oar-some funding supports next generation of para-athletes

November 30, 2017
Sport Access Foundation
Editor

Funding from a charity established by Australian Paralympic Gold Medallist, Katie Kelly, will help enable the next generation of Aussie para-athletes to hone their skills and take on the world’s best. 

Kelly, who won gold in the para-triathlon at last year’s Rio games said the idea of a foundation that would help fund younger Australian’s to get into sport came about from her own experience growing up with a deaf-blind condition known as Usher’s Syndrome. 

“As a child, sport was where I felt it was more of an even playing field as one with a hearing loss,” Katie said. “Children with disabilities face a range of different barriers from cost, to discrimination to being misunderstood. The most significant barriers often relate to access to the right facilities and equipment. This is where Sport Access Foundation (SAF) assists with an annual grants program to help fund children with a disability to take part in sport. Each year SAF provides grants of $2000 each which can be used for any project that helps to build participation in sport to ensure that no-one gets left on the side-lines.”

Today’s announcement of three inaugural grant recipients, coincides with the foundation launching an ongoing partnership with the ASX listed steel company BlueScope. 

Our First Founding Partner - BlueScope

BlueScope’s Managing Director and CEO-Elect, Mark Vassella, said:

“BlueScope is delighted to be coming on board as a foundation partner with Katie Kelly and SAF. Katie is a legend in her own right and was part of our successful Change the Game partnership program between BlueScope and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). The SAF partnership is a direct spin-off from the success of that program and is a great fit with the BlueScope culture. We see this as a continuation of our responsibility within the communities where we live. It’s a win-win for all the parties involved and we congratulate SAF for the incredible initiatives they are launching today and we look forward to working together to help young Australians with a disability have better access sport.”

 The 2017 Inaugural Grant Recipients are: 

  • Sydney based para-rower Ruby Sutherland who will use the $2,000 grant to purchase a new set of rowing oars. Ruby is based out of Balmain Rowing Club. 
  • Para-swimmer, Col Pearse, from Echucha, Victoria - Col’s dream is to go to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and represent Australia in the pool. Col has three national class records for Echuca junior swimmer and was selected in Swimming Australia’s Paralympic development group. 
  • Para-athletics champion, Jasmine Hose, from Ringwood, Victoria - Jasmine has been in the Schools Sport Victorian state para-athletics team for the last two years, clocking up a national 800, record.
Rowing NSW CEO Anthony Blower said: “The funding from Sport Access Foundation is significant and we are very grateful for Ruby’s grant which will have a direct impact to our sport and help one of our para-rowing athletes take the next steps in achieving her goals," he said.

To find out more about SAF grants click below.

CLICK HERE

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