“The Don Oliver” provides scholarships to young West Auckland athletes aged 14 to 21, in any sport, who have the ability, the attitude and the “X factor” to make it onto the national and international stage in their sport.
The sumptuous annual dinner is a glittering black tie event at The Trusts Arena, with great speakers and great entertainment creating the setting in which each year’s scholarships are presented to the shining young stars from West Auckland.
“The Foundation has a record of supporting champions of the future that is second to none in New Zealand. It’s a record that sees West Auckland ‘punching well above its weight’ in terms of the young sports people who go on to represent their country,” says chairman, Dai Bindoff.
“This is very much a West Auckland success. It’s made possible by three groups: the athletes themselves; the fantastically generous support of very loyal West Auckland sponsors and supporters (of which The Trusts is one, as part of its “Giving Back” campaign, The Trust Arena, and Arena Fitness), donors such as TTCF and also the several hundred people who attend the dinner, show and auction each year.
“In the 16 years since the foundation was created to honour the memory of the late, great, Don Oliver, there hasn’t been an Olympic or Commonwealth Games team without at least one past scholar in it. We’ve also had world champions, national champions, youngsters winning scholarships to US universities and scholars making their way to the top of athletics, swimming, football, equestrian, hockey, cycling, BMX and in non-Olympic sports such as touch, surfing, motor-bike racing and many others,” Dai says. You have your chance to support one of the most outstanding successful sports organisations in New Zealand, by purchasing a ticket or two for The Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation dinner, show and auction, on Thursday 18th July, 2013.
Internationally outstanding at present are past scholars/Olympians Melissa Ingram and Lauren Boyle and Commonwealth Games high jumper Elizabeth Lamb. Coming up are youth Commonwealth champion weightlifter Matthew Madsen, motorbike racer Daniel Mettam and young cyclist of the year, Stephanie McKenzie.
Last year the Foundation gave a total of 15 scholarships in Gold ($5,000), Silver ($4,000) or Bronze ($3,000) categories – and the year before it was a record 16 scholarships.
The 2013 scholars are in the process of being chosen by an independent panel of experts: Gael Nagaiya, a selector for the Silver Ferns, Ross Dallow, a leading sports administrator and international coach, and chairman Simon Wickham, Chief Executive of The Trusts and Deputy Chairman of the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
Photo by Auckland Sports Photography