Paralympic Gold Medallist Katie Kelly OAM PLY has announced 14 exceptional young para-athletes and four outstanding sporting clubs recipients of Sport Access Foundation's (SAFs) 2022 grants.
SAF provides annual grants to help 7-17 year-olds with a disability play and participate in sports. The charity aims to improve inclusion to ensure no young Australian is left behind on the sporting sidelines.
Future para-sporting stars, eager young athletes, and inclusive sporting clubs are among the 2022 grantees. They are from across Australia and will share nearly twenty thousand dollars of funding.
The young recipients have diverse needs, play a wide variety of sports, and were selected by an independent expert panel from a record 120 applications.
Meet the 2022 Sport Access Foundation grantees:
Compeat Performance Pathway to Paralympics
Abbie Peet, Tamworth, NSW, Athletics, 14 years old
Cameron Jones, Adelaide, SA, Kayak, 17 years old
BlueScope Sporting Club Grant
Top End Western Horse Club, Mareeba, QLD
SA Wheelchair Basketball Association, Lightsview, SA
All Abilities Cheer & Dance, Beverley, SA
Riding for the Disabled (HorsePower Collie), Preston Settlement, WA
SAF Kick Start Grant
James Wilson, Warrane, TAS, Boccia, 17 years old
Atticus Crevatin-Gunn, Allens Rivulet, TAS, Sailing/Yachting, 13 years old
Michael Moss, Henrietta, TAS, Equestrian, 12 years old
James Gittus, Gagebrook, TAS, Judo, 10 years old
SAF No Barriers Grant
Olivia Earl, South Tamworth, NSW, Athletics, 12 years old
Ashton Zielinski, North Gosford, NSW, BMX, 13 years old
Matthew Rimmer, Douglas, QLD, Martial Arts, 8 years old
Oliver Hamelink, Bakers Creek, QLD, Table Tennis, 11 years old
Angus Brinson, Secret Harbour, WA, Swimming, 7 years old
Alison Landers, Harrisdale, WA, Gymnastics, 8 years old
Kater Elmer-Gray, Bullsbrook, WA, Wheelchair Basketball, 10 years old
Nakeata Zaknich, Huntingdale, WA, Goalball, 16 years old
Visit sportaccessfoundation.org.au for more information about the grant program and SAF.
Comments from Katie Kelly OAM PLY:
"I'm delighted to announce the SAF grant recipients for 2022. Congratulations to the 14 remarkable athletes and four dedicated sports clubs selected.
"Our grants are tailored to meet the diverse needs of children and teenagers aged 7-17 with a disability to ensure relevancy in their sporting pathways.
"This year, we offered four funding categories. Over 120 applications were received, with the awarded athletes and clubs selected by an independent expert panel.
"SAF thanks the independent selection panel of disability and sporting experts for their time and support. The selection process is always difficult and challenging with so many worthy applicants and limited funds to distribute.
"Thank you also to our wonderful grant sponsors – BlueScope and Compeat Performance – for your continued support. It is enormously appreciated.
"And to the many children who applied this year but were unsuccessful, we hope to be able to support you in the future.
"SAF encourages corporate and community donations. With your help, much-needed financial support can be given to more children with a disability to pursue their sporting dreams."
Comments from 2022 SAF grantees: Riding for Disabled association WA Collie Group TA Horsepower Collie – Carol Brice "HorsePower Collie is very excited to be a successful recipient of funding from the Sport Access Foundation. This funding will allow us to purchase better jumping equipment to improve and extend the jumping skills of our riders and horses. We are very grateful and sincerely thank the Sport Access Foundation."
SA Wheelchair Basketball Assoc – Aaron Blackmore "We are thankful for the grant provided by the Sport Access Foundation, which will help us provide equipment, coaching and mentoring to the juniors of our organisation. Thanks, from all of us at SAWBA!"
All Abilities Cheer & Dance – Alana Giaccio "We always want our students to have social role valorisation in the community. We're so excited to be awarded a sporting club grant because we aim to take 27 students with disabilities to Gold Coast to represent South Australia in the Australian All-Star Cheerleading Federation National Championships. This grant will help make this possible!"
Cameron Jones "I would like to thank everyone involved at Sport Access Foundation for making this grant possible. I can now look into buying a paddle that I will use on a regular basis and look forward to being able to travel in February for the Nationals in Perth. This is totally amazing."
Connie Meet, on behalf of daughter Abbie Peet "Thank you, Sport Access Foundation. The grant helps us further support Abbie and get her to the competitions where she gets the opportunity to experience carnivals and to meet other Para kids. It is one step closer to her getting to her towards her dreams of representing Australia at the Paralympics."
James Gittus "Judo is my whole life. Thank you for selecting me. This grant will help with the cost of entry and travel to attend my next big competition in Queensland."
Sport Access Foundation: Helping Aussie kids with a disability to play and participate in sport.
14 outstanding athletes and four inclusive sports clubs granted much-needed financial support
Winners include future para-sporting stars, eager athletes, and inclusive sporting clubs
Grantees selected by an independent expert panel
Corporate and community donations sought to help more children.