HUNTER MP Joel Fitzgibbon acknowledged the talent and achievements of the electorate’s young sporting stars at a presentation event hosted in Cessnock on Tuesday afternoon.
Twenty-six locals between the ages of 12 and 18 years have been awarded Commonwealth Local Sporting Champions Grants, which recognise athletes’ feats while supporting their competitive endeavours with a cash bonus.
In 2018, the scheme acknowledged the distance many young, regionally-based athletes travel to compete in their chosen fields with increased funding available for people who travel more than 800 kilometres.
Successful applicants received between $500 and $750 to contribute towards the cost of attending their championships.
Mr Fitzgibbon was impressed by the diverse range of sports the successful sporting champions represented, which include gymnastics, barefoot water-skiing, BMX bike riding, baseball, netball, rugby league, volleyball, football, diving, touch and hockey.
“Participation in sport is not only a positive for physical health but it teaches young people important foundations for life like honesty, respect, teamwork, fair play and the ability to follow rules,” he said.
“It’s clear the young people who have received Local Sporting Champions Grants have shown extraordinary dedication and drive to reach an elite level of competition.
“I would also like to acknowledge the parents and carers, sporting coaches and the many volunteers at local sporting clubs who have contributed to the sporting success of young people in the Hunter electorate.”
2018 Hunter Local Sporting Champions
Nate Cox (Cameron Park) BMX Australia - Australian National Championships
Chelsea Webb (Cessnock) Cessnock District Netball Association - NSW State Age Championships
Lara Perkins (Millfield) Kurri Kurri Netball Association - NSW State Age Championships
Jasmine Kerr (Cessnock) Netball NSW – NSW State Age Championships
Tee-Jay Russo (Wyee) NSW Barefoot Water-Ski Club - 2018 Australian National Barefoot Water-ski Championships
Lluka Moffitt (Muswellbrook) Muswellbrook Netball Association – NSW State Age Championships
Tylor Dodd (Edgeworth) Newcastle - Senior League Championships
Emily Dobbins (Cameron Park) Macquarie Shores - 2018 Australian Age Swimming Championships
Elaina McClung (Branxton) WAWA - 2018 World Barefoot Water Ski Championships
Macy Blake (Bellbird Heights) Kurri Kurri Netball Association - NSW State Age Championships
Vienna Couper (Toronto) Westlakes Netball Club – NSW State Age Championships
Heidi Fricker (Fassifern) New South Wales Diving - National Age Diving Championships
Kaylan Moloney (Coal Point) Gymnastics NSW - Australian Gymnastics Championships
Madison Knott (Kearsley) Cessnock District Netball Association - NSW State Netball Championships
Jesse Knight (Abernethy) Newcastle Hockey - Hockey NSW Under 18 Boys State Field Championships
Chloe Patch (Cessnock) Cessnock District Netball Association – NSW State Age Netball Championships
Jordan Jones (Bulga) Newcastle Baseball Association - National Senior League Championships
Ellie-Jane Metcalfe (Cessnock West) Cessnock District Netball Association – NSW State Age Championships
Heidi Richards (Muswellbrook) Muswellbrook Netball Association - NSW State Age Championships
Georgia Chapple (Cameron Park) Newcastle Netball Association - NSW State Age Championships
Emelyn Ostenfeld (Bonnells Bay) NSW State Volleyball - Australian Junior Volleyball Championships
Tomasz Kowalski (Cameron Park) NSW Schools Football - NSW All Schools Football Championships
Jack Haylen (Muswellbrook) Hunter - NSW PSSA
Tahni Beckett (Cessnock) Cessnock Netball Association – NSW State Age Championships
Floyd Tighe (Edgeworth) Touch Football Australia - Youth World Cup Tour
Ebony Deaves (Cessnock) Cessnock District Netball Association – NSW State Age Championships