Molly Picklum and five other young athletes are being partnered with some of Australian sport’s most iconic names as part of a greatly expanded Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program.
A total of 32 young athletes from around the country will receive scholarships as part of this year’s program, which began in 2006 and is now supported by Australian Government funding from Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
Six of those young athletes, all from different sports, will each receive a $10,000 sporting grant and be personally mentored by Australian sporting champions including Olympic gold medallists, national captains and World Cup winners.
Swimmer Susie O’Neill AM, Rugby’s George Gregan AM, Cricket’s Ricky Ponting AO, Beach Volleyball’s Kerri Pottharst OAM, Cyclist Brad McGee OAM and Water Polo’s Debbie Watson OAMhave put their hands up to help guide young athletes Josie Baff (NSW, 17, Snowboarding), Ari Gesini (ACT, 17, Para-Athletics), Jed Morgan (QLD, 20, Golf) Marissa Williamson (VIC, 18, Boxing), Oliver Moran (NSW, 18, BMX) and Molly Picklum (NSW, 17, Surfing).
Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck said the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program symbolised the important inspiration and legacy sport provides.
“This program is a fantastic example of how our sporting heroes of the past can continue to influence, support and inspire our champions of the future,” Minister Colbeck said.
“This group of mentors contains combined experience of 11 Olympic Games and 16 Olympic medals, World Cups victories in rugby and cricket, a yellow-jersey leader in the Tour de France. Their active sporting careers are complete, but they continue to contribute to the enduring power of Australian sport by mentoring the next generation. I thank the mentors for your leadership on this program and I wish the young athletes the very best with your sporting ambitions.”
Sport Australia Chair John Wylie AM said the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program showed the collective power of sport.
“The best part of this program is seeing mentors and scholarship holders from different sporting backgrounds come together with a shared goal to help the next generation of young elite athletes achieve sporting success,” Mr Wylie said. “Look at how a young Indigenous female boxer like Marissa Williamson has already overcome so much, but can now be mentored by Olympic gold medal beach volleyballer Kerri Pottharst. Nothing comes close to sport as a power to unite us, motivate us and inspire us.”
Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program Chair Sue Stanley OAMsaid more scholarships, worth $5,000 and $2,500, will be announced in coming days.
“The Scholarship & Mentoring Program continues to grow exponentially, and we are so proud to expand this Program to provide six amazing Australian junior athletes access to our SAHOF Members. We are excited to assist these athletes over the next 14 months on their road to success both in life and sport.”
MORE ONMOLLY PICKLUM, 17, Terrigal NSWWinner of the 2020 Australian Surfing Rising Star Award and named Surfing Life’s #1 Junior Female in the ‘Hottest 100 Talent’, Molly Picklum is regarded as Australia’s most exciting young surfing talent. From Shelly Beach NSW, the 17-year-old is making waves both locally and internationally. After a successful period competing on the World Junior Series and winning the 2019 WSL Australia/Oceania Junior Championship, Molly is now on the WSL Qualifying Series and is poised to qualify for the WSL Championship Tour in the coming years.
“I was so excited to hear that my SAHOF Scholarship Application was successful. Being able to receive one-on-one mentoring from a sporting great, especially someone like Debbie Watson will be so valuable for me at this stage of my career. I feel very lucky to be a Scholarship Recipient and thank the SAHOF team for supporting me on my journey.” – Molly Picklum
“I am excited to be paired with such a motivated young surfer. I am looking forward to mentoring Molly and supporting her throughout her sporting journey. I can’t wait to help her achieve her goals both in and out of the water.” – Mentor,Debbie Watson OAM
“We are so grateful and excited to see one of our up and coming surfers, Molly Picklum paired with one of Australia’s greatest water polo players in Debbie Watson. After a wonderful start to Molly’s 2020 season, being a successful recipient of a Tier 1 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship will really cap this year off and launch her into 2021.” – Surfing Australia Chair & SAHOF Member, Layne Beachley AO