Young swimming sensation Gabrielle Fa’amausili heads up a list of 15 outstanding young West Auckland athletes who have been selected to be the 2014 -15 Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation scholars.
Gabrielle, who lives in New Windsor and attends Avondale College, has had a year overflowing with successes. She became a junior world champion last year at the age of 13, when she set a world record 28.14 on her way to taking the 50m backstroke world title. Later she took the New Zealand age group record for the 50m free and in the process, beat Lauren Boyle a former Don Oliver scholar, one of the world’s premier women swimmers and a gold and silver medallist at Glasgow. She then picked up the Halberg Emerging talent Award and is now landed the only Gold scholarship awarded by the Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation for 2014.
The other recipients were: hockey player Danielle Sutherland and swimmer Michael Mincham who received Silver scholarships. Bronze scholarships went to: Jared Free (athletics race walking); divers Nathan Brown and Elizabeth Cui; surfers Elliot Paerata-Reid and Britt Kindred; wrestlers Brahm Richards and Matthew Downes; motor-cycle racer Daniel Mettam; mountain biker Peter Bethell; Olympic weightlifter Hazel Latoa; softballer Connor Peden and golfer Tadhg Campbell.
The Foundation which has The Trusts as associate sponsor, confidently expects to see a number of these scholars becoming future Olympians or international, if not world, champions.
Don Oliver scholars have an enviable record of international success, with every New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games team for the past 16 years having at least one past or present scholar. There were four at Glasgow: swimmer Lauren Boyle, cyclist Steph Mackenzie, weightlifter Matthew Madsen and boxer Alexis Pritchard.
Lauren of course needs no introduction as one of the world’s top women swimmers, Alexis was one of New Zealand first two women Olympic boxers, Steph McKenzie is a former New Zealand young cyclist of the year and Matthew Madsen won multiple Oceania and Commonwealth weightlifting titles in the junior grades on his way to winning Commonwealth Games selection.
The Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation is now gearing for its annual Awards dinner at The Trusts Arena, on 29 August. Tickets are $145 each with a discount for a table of ten.
Please contact Roxy at email@example.com for ticket sales.