Future Champions receive funding grants


Six new Future Whanganui champions were awarded with grants to support them in their future sporting endeavours at a presentation with trustees yesterday.

The Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui Future Champions Trust aims to give Whanganui people and businesses an opportunity to support our talented sporting youth with a hand up to reach their full potential at international level. The recipients announced for this funding round were:

Gabriella Valentine – Speed Skating – selected to compete at the World Skate Oceania Speed Skating Championships held recently in Nundah, Brisbane.

Tazia Parker – Speed Skating – selected to compete at the World Skate Oceania Speed Skating Championships held recently in Nundah, Brisbane.

Oliver Hutchins – Football – selected to represent New Zealand as part of the NZ Secondary School Under 19 Football Tour of Malaysia and Singapore in April 2023.

Louise Brabyn – Track & Field – selected for the New Zealand Secondary School Under 18 Track and Field team to compete at the Australian Junior Track and Field Championships held in Brisbane, 12-18 April.

Katie Ramage – Mountain Biking – currently overseas with the KiwiMTBCollective team, a development mountain bike race team for young New Zealanders to race overseas at World Cups and other events.

Chase Morpeth – Speed Skating – currently training in Germany as part of the Arena Geisingen Development Men’s Speed Skating team, in the lead up to the World Championships.

Three of the recipient athletes and their supporters were able to attend a presentation at Sport Whanganui, where trust members and sponsors acknowledged their achievements and heard from each about their recent experiences overseas.

Trust representative Philippa Baker-Hogan said it was a privilege to be able to support promising young athletes to take big steps in their sporting careers.

“For many talented young athletes and their families, the opportunity to represent their country also comes with a substantial cost. It is a privilege to be able to ease some of that financial burden for families and in turn, see and hear about the growth in these young athletes both personally and in their chosen sport.”

Hayden Gibson of Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui said the recipients were already positive role models for other young people and encouraged them to think about how their influence extended beyond the sports field.

“We are proud to support these young people because not only does it help them with their individual efforts, it also boosts our community who get to see and be inspired by their achievements. We encourage all our recipients to come back and be available to talk about what they’ve experienced, and all are happy to give back in that way.”

The Mitre 10 MEGA Wanganui Future Champions Trust has been operating for more than a decade and has granted close to $100,000 to 57 individual athletes.

The funding rounds are held twice annually in March and September and the trust is thankful for the generous support from Mitre 10 Mega Wanganui, Arthur Wheeler Leedstown Trust and a variety of other businesses and individual donors.

Athletes interested in applying to the next opening in September 2023 are encouraged to visit the Trust’s website to assess the criteria for the fund, and to download an application form.

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

Article posted 3 May 2023 by sportwhanganui