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Don Oliver Applications & Dinner on the 29th August

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Don Oliver SponsorsYoung West Auckland athletes are being urged to get their applications in for a 2014/15 Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation Scholarship.

Application forms and terms and conditions can be found at www.donoliver.org.nz or hard copies can be obtained from Michael at Sport Waitakere. Applications close at 5pm on 30 June.

Scholarships are open to promising young West Auckland athletes in any sport, who are aged between their 14th birthday and 21st birthday (both days inclusive) at the time the applications close on June 30 this year. Applicants must have their permanent home address in the area served by The Trusts (from New Windsor to Kumeu), and may not be elite or professional or semi professional.

“The point about the home address is important,” says Alan Parry, DOYSF deputy chairman. “We understand that many athletes need to live and train away from their home; young cyclists having to train at either Invercargill; or now Cambridge are a good example. However, if they still have their home address in West Auckland, they still qualify.”

Applications can come from individuals, their friends or family, their school, club or coach and really should include support from their coach, club, school or regional or national sports organisation.

After ensuring that the applicants meet the criteria for selection, the DOYSF passes them to the expert, independent selection panel that comprises Simon Wickham, Chairman, Gael Nagaiya convenor of selectors for the Silver Ferns and Ross Dallow, international coach and leading sports administrator.

The selectors will be looking for youngsters with the results, potential and character to join the next generation of national and world champions, and Olympic or Commonwealth games medallists.

In the 16 years since ‘The Don Oliver’ was founded there hasn’t been a New Zealand Olympic or Commonwealth Games team that hasn’t included a past or present Don Oliver scholar. This year at Glasgow, the potential gold medallists include Lauren Boyle, one of the top women swimmers in the world, and a former Don Oliver scholar.

Other champions supported by ‘The Don Oliver’ have included Melissa Ingram, Tyla Nathan Wong (a member of the New Zealand women’s world champion sevens rugby team, and also the national touch squad), Carl Evans a world champion sailor and Alexis Pritchard our first woman Olympic boxer.

The Don Oliver Dinner is on the 29th August. Tickets will soon go on sale for the annual Don Oliver Awards and Fundraising Dinner, scheduled for 29 August at the Genesis Room of The Trusts Arena.

The dinner has been a major attraction on the West Auckland social calendar for many years, where each year’s “class” of scholars is announced, past and present scholars tell their stories of treading the world stage, and a first class speaker entertains. Last year’s speaker, former All Black icon Eric Rush, had the audience in stitches with his humour laden account of growing up poor in Northland, coming to the big city and ultimately touring the world. This year’s speaker will be the one and only Billy Graham, one of our most renowned and successful motivators of young people.

Each year there is also an auction of memorabilia and other fantastic items and the event is conducted by the country’s leading MC.

Tickets for the dinner are $149 each with a discount of 10 percent for a table of ten. This is a “must do” event and this year the organisers hope that our top woman swimmer Lauren Boyle will be able to join the gathering fresh from triumphs at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

If you’d like to get ahead of the rush and register interest in purchasing tickets now please contact Roxy at events@donoliver.org.nz

Photo by Auckland Sports Photography