|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Around 50 family, friends and supporters attended Bay of Plenty Polytechnic’s High Performance Sports Academy Scholarship award ceremony on Thursday honouring some of the Bay’s elite young athletes.
The scholarships are open to all students studying any full-time programme at the Polytechnic who are competing at a national or international level in their sporting code. This year saw more than 40 applicants vie for the eight scholarships.
“Every year we’re blown away by the sheer number of applications we receive from so many talented applicants,” said Mike Dudson, High Performance Sports Manager. “The students lucky enough to be awarded scholarships should be really proud – it’s testament to their dedication and skill and the Polytechnic is privileged to be part of the students’ learning and sporting success.”
All scholarship winners receive their year’s tertiary fees paid, access to the Polytechnic’s sport and fitness centre, including performance sport testing, as well as education, sporting and lifestyle support services provided by a High Performance Manager. The scholarships provide athletes with real choices as well as allowing them to balance both career and sporting aspirations.
Four time winner of the Auckland marathon (women’s division) and World Masters Marathon world-record holder Tracey Clissold was the Awards guest speaker and delivered a compelling speech on ‘Tipping Points’ that can impact athlete’s sporting careers.
“The journey ahead for these young sports stars will test all of their strengths,” said Tracey. “It can be the simple decisions that decide whether your sporting career can go this way or that. Change is good; the students need to embrace that and be ready for it.
“They’ve got such a great opportunity with these scholarships to get qualifications to progress their long term career goals. I’m sure we’ll see some great things from this talented bunch.”
Winners of the scholarships are Heidi-Jane James (triathlon), Joe Moretti (surfing), former Aquinas College student Benjamin Shanly-Te Whare (golf), former Tauranga Boys’ College student Marshall Gibson (wrestling), former Mount Maunganui College students Monique Dekkers (judo) and Tayla Blanchard (netball), and former Trident High School students Morgan Seymour and Paora Morunga (both beach volleyball).
Also presented at the awards ceremony was the Howie Hinton Memorial Scholarship. This annual award was presented on behalf of the Hinton family to Margaret Apiti, a student who emulates the qualities shown by the late Howie Hinton, a dedicated and inspirational tutor of sport and recreation programmes at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.