Future Champions awarded funding grants


Five outstanding young Whanganui athletes were awarded with grants to support them in their international sporting endeavours at a presentation with trustees and sponsors on Thursday 4 April.

The first Mitre 10 MEGA Whanganui Future Champions Trust funding round for 2024 has granted $5250 to five talented young athletes from the Whanganui region.

The Mitre 10 MEGA Whanganui Future Champions Trust aims to give young people a “hand up” to reach their full potential in their chosen sport.

Four of the recipient athletes and their supporters attended a presentation at Mitre 10 MEGA Whanganui, where trust members and sponsors acknowledged their individual achievements and wished them the best for their future sporting endeavours.

Recipients announced for this funding round were:

  • Messina Su’a – Selected as part of the Rowing NZ Under 21 team to compete in the Pacific Regatta in Penrith, Australia from 31 May – 2 June 2024.
  • Finnegan Murphy – Accepted to race for elite French cycling club Morlaix Cyclisme Performance (MCP), based in Brittany, France.
  • Mollie King – Selected to represent NZ at the International Weightlifting Federation World Youth Championships in Lima, Peru, from 22-26 May 2024. Mollie has also qualified for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Suva, Fiji in September.
  • Poppy Priddle – Selected for the New Zealand Junior White Sox Softball Team to compete at the WBSC Under-18 Group Stage World Cup Qualifier in Sao Paulo, Brazil in July 2024.
  • Juliet McKinlay – Named in the Athletics NZ team to compete in the 2024 Oceania Athletics Championships in Suva, Fiji from 1-8 June 2024. Juliet will compete in the 100m hurdles, long jump, and heptathlon in the Under 18 Women’s division.

Trust representative Philippa Baker-Hogan said “We are so impressed and proud of these new recipients and know how much work goes on behind the scenes to gain selection at this level.

“A very recent NZ Junior Hockey recipient, Rebecca Baker, has just been selected into the NZ Women’s Black Sticks to play a two-test series against Japan, along with another recipient, Emma Rainey. We are proud of the ‘hand up’ we have given them to reach elite selection in their sport.”

Naming sponsor Hayden Gibson of Mitre 10 MEGA Whanganui said “It is a privilege for our team and us to be able to partner with the Future Champions Trust and support young athletes onto the national and world stage, these young people are the future of Whanganui, and they deserve as much support as we can give. “

“It makes me proud to be part of such a successful small community where we punch well above our weight on the world stage. I look forward to watching these young athletes as they represent in their respective sports.”

The Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui Future Champions Trust has been operating for over a decade and has granted more than $92,000 to 69 individual athletes.

The funding rounds are held three times annually in February, June, and October.

Athletes interested in applying for funding support are encouraged to visit the Trust’s website to assess the criteria for the fund, and to download an application form. The next funding round closes on 30 June 2024.

The Trust is thankful for the generous support from Mitre 10 Mega Whanganui, Arthur Wheeler Leedstown Trust, Shane Stone Builders and the many local businesses and individual donors who have provided support over the years.

All levels of support are appreciated and interested businesses are also encouraged to contact the trust via www.futurechampionstrust.org.

Article posted 7 April 2024 by sportwhanganui