Announcing the grants, Ms Kelly, who won gold in the para-triathlon at the 2016 Rio Paralympics said she was delighted to see that disability sports in Australia were becoming more recognised and growing in popularity for both participants and spectators.
“Since Rio and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, we’re seeing broader awareness of athletes with a disability and what they can achieve,” Katie said.
“This is the second year that SAF has offered grants to young athletes who have a disability, and we were overwhelmed with exactly 100 applications received from every state and territory in Australia.”
The idea for a foundation to help fund younger Australian’s to get into sport, came about from Katie’s own experience growing up with the deaf-blind condition - Ushers Syndrome and through her Paralympic experience meeting many young Australians with a disability keen to play sport.
“A barrier to playing sport for kids who have a disability, is often the access to the right facilities and equipment. This is where SAF assists with its annual grants.”
BlueScope’s Managing Director and CEO, Mark Vassella, said: “BlueScope is delighted to continue its support as a foundation partner and we congratulate the four recipients for 2018.”
Richie Ward, Regional Manager, BMD said the grants would not only help financially, but give a big boost to the profile of each athlete in their local community.
“BMD acknowledges the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in both our business and the communities in which we work. We were pleased to come on board this year and support SAF with a donation that directly assists a young athlete from the ATSI community in the Territory. It’s fantastic to see young people like Kaitlyn, striving to achieve their very best.”
The following three recipients will receive grants which were funded by The June Canavan Foundation.
Disability: Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia from birth
Sport: Athletics, F34 class Club: Casey Cardinia Athletics Club
Dayna competes as a seated thrower in F34 class in Athletics. She competes in both Junior and Open classes. Dayna is aiming for the 2019 Junior Para World Championships in Switzerland. She has set goals of distances needed to be achieved to reach a qualifying throw to gain selection int the Australian Paralympic Team for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. The grant will be used for this campaign for Tokyo which includes Coach fees, S&C training and out of pocket for travel and competition. https://au.gofundme.com/daynacrees
Disability: Cerebral Palsy, wheelchair bound from Birth
Sport: Table Tennis (Wheelchair), S4 class Club: Brighton Table Tennis Club
Caleb is in the Australian Para Table Tennis Team and travels overseas for competition. He needs funds for him and his carer for travel and out of pocket expenses. He is the current Oceania Regional Class 4 Champion and Australian Class 4 Wheelchair champion. He is seeded 4th in the world for his class and is training 25 hours a week. His goal is to make the Australian Paralympic Team for Tokyo 2020. Recent article.
Disability: Undiagnosed severe and permanent progressive disorder of spinal cord since 5 years of age. Relies on forearm crutches and a wheelchair.
Sport: Tennis (Wheelchair), *Quad class Club: Melbourne and Hampton Tennis Club
Finn recently represented Australia in the World Team for the Junior World Cup in Netherlands. He is currently ranked 14 in the world. Last year he purchased his first tennis wheelchair without assistance to the value of $5,100. The grant will assist with training commitments, chair equipment and maintenance and out of pocket expenses to travel. His goal is to one day represent Australia at the top level in wheelchair tennis. http://mpnews.com.au/2018/07/23/wheelchair-tennis-talent-compete-internationally
Disability: Intellectual disability and Learning Disability (Autistic spectrum) since birth
Sport: Tennis, Intellectual Disability Class (special Olympics)
Club: Darwin Gymnastics Club and Palmerston Swimming Club
Kaitlyn attends a special education school and has participated in the Australian Special Olympic Games in swimming, as well as representing the NT in July this year at the National Schools competition. She is also competing in the National Gymnastics competition this month (September) on the Gold Coast. Her Grandparents are her legal carers for her and her brother. This grant will enable her to continue to participate and achieve her goals in both swimming and gymnastics.
Details on the classifications:
Your donation will go towards providing financial assistance and support to enable children with a disability to participate in sporting activities. Every dollar goes direct to the grant recipients to help with the cost of their sport, including modified equipment, carer costs, transport and fees.