Today I had the honour of presenting 2017-18 Burt Local Sporting Champions Grant recipients with their awards at Sutherlands Park in Huntingdale.
Burt Local Sporting Champions are young sportsmen and women aged 12-18 participating in an official State, National or International Sporting Championship and received a $500 grant to assist them with interstate and international travel.
The breadth and diversity of our local sporting community is reflected in these awards, with recipients representing WA and Australia in Athletics, Badminton, Soccer, Ice Skating, Netball, Softball and Volleyball.
Presenting the awards was my way of acknowledging the hard work and many long hours put in by the parents, families and the junior athletes themselves.
Parents and carers are the ones getting up early, driving around after school and criss-crossing the metro area each weekend to support their kids, not to mention the costs of participating in state-wide, national and international competition. The parents and families of our young sport stars sacrifice so much to ensure their children can live their dreams and the Local Sporting Champions Grants provides a little extra support to those families needing help to live their dream.
People can tend to focus on the negative stories of our community and these Burt Local Sporting Champions show how we can change the story, by supporting and promoting our great local rising sport stars.
Many of the recipients took part in the recent Athletics Australias All Schools Competition in December where Western Australia finished first of the small states (WA, ACT, TAS, SA, NT).
Jordan-Blaze Lightbourn of Thornlie took home the Bronze medal in the in the U14 Boys 100m race and Chanelle Myburgh of Seville Grove finished 5th overall in the U16 Girls 200m hurdles.
Lisa Roberts, mother of Jordan-Blaze Lightbourn said:
It helped give JB the opportunity to represent WA in Adelaide and as a family we had to make sacrifices to get him (Jordan) there. The grant really helped ease the financial burden of the trip.
Beatriz James, mother of Joshua James who will be playing soccer for the WA team at the Special Olympics National Games in April next year said:
The cost of travel and registration will cost us over $3,000, which is a big cost for our family and we are grateful for this grant as every little bit helps.
Tara Dekkers, mother of Jordyn Dekkers who took part in the Australian Figure Skating Championships in Brisbane said:
Jordyn completed two great skates and achieved the goals she had set for herself finishing 9th of 30 very competitive skaters from across the country.
We are extremely grateful for the support provided by the program which helps our children gain valuable life experiences competing as high level athletes at national and international events.