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ASC congratulates athletes selected for SAHOF mentoring program

07 September 2022

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has congratulated the athletes selected for the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s (SAHOF's) 2023 Scholarship and Mentoring Program.

Compilation of mentor and athlete headshots with the Sport Australia Hall of Fame logo
Top, from left, mentors Sharon Buchanan, Luc Longley, Nat Cook, Leisel Jones, Steve Waugh, Barton Lynch. Bottom, athletes Mackenzie Mielzcarek, Max Stagg, Claire Colwill, Alyssa Polites, Stefan Elliott-Shircore and Jessie Parkinson. Artwork: SAHOF

The Australian Sports Commission has congratulated the athletes selected for the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s 2023 Scholarship and Mentoring Program.

The program recipients, announced today, will work with three Olympic gold medallists, an NBA Champion, an Australian surfing legend and a cricket great.

The three-tiered scholarship program, which is backed by the Australian Sports Commission, supports up-and-coming athletes on their journey to excellence and success on the world stage, awarding $150,000 in funding to 32 athletes each year.

Six athletes have been selected in Tier 1 of the program and will receive $10,000 to go towards their training and competition, as well as one-on-one mentoring from some of the greats of Australian sport.

ASC Chair Josephine Sukkar AM said the Commission was proud to support the program, which had helped many athletes go on to represent Australia on the world stage.

“To see another 32 elite young athletes recognised for their talent, drive and determination is inspiring,” she said.

“It is also pleasing to see sports like javelin, baseball and badminton represented for the first time among the 2023 scholarship holders, proving Australia’s breadth of talent when it comes to sporting success.

“As we enter the Green and Gold decade of major international sporting events on home soil, this financial support will no doubt provide extra incentive for young athletes to help them chase their sporting dreams.

“I congratulate all 2023 scholarship recipients and wish them every success with their sporting endeavours.”

The Tier 1 scholarship recipients are Claire Colwill (hockey) who won a silver medal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games; Alyssa Polites (cycling) who was part of the Australian cycling squad in Birmingham; Mackenzie Mielczarek (athletics – javelin); Max Stagg (baseball); Jesse Parkinson (snowboarding); and Stefan Elliott-Shircore (sailing).

These six athletes have each been allocated a mentor who is a current member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

The 2023 mentors are two-time Olympic medallist, World and Olympic beach volleyball champion, Nat Cook (beach volleyball); two-time ICC Cricket World Cup winner, former Australian captain and 2004 Australian of the Year, Steve Waugh AO; triple Olympian and member of Australia’s first Olympic gold medal-winning hockey team, Sharon Buchanan OAM; three-time Olympic and 10-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and one of Australia’s most successful swimmers of all time, Leisel Jones OAM; three-time NBA Champion and 1989 Gaze Medallist, Luc Longley AM; and former ASP World Champion, 1991 Rip Curl Pro winner and Surfing Australia Hall of Fame Member, Barton Lynch.

Each Tier 1 scholarship holder will receive funding from the Sport Australia Hall of Fame for 12-15 months which can be used on such expenses as travel, training, and specialist support, along with unrivalled access to personal guidance from their allocated mentor.

There will be 26 more athletes receiving Tier 2 and 3 scholarships announced in the coming weeks.

Since the unique Scholarship Mentoring Program’s inception in 2006, SAHOF has benefited 173 athletes in 53 sports.

More information is available on the Sport Australia Hall of Fame website.

2023 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Tier 1 Scholarship Holders & Mentors

  • World Cup Hockey bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Claire Colwill, 18, QLD (Nat Cook OAM)
  • U21 European Sailing Silver Medallist and youngest commercial pilot in Australia, Stefan Elliott-Shircore, 19, WA (Steve Waugh AO)
  • Five-time National Javelin Champion and Oceania Junior Record Holder, Mackenzie Mielczarek, 19, VIC (Sharon Buchanan OAM)
  • Australian Junior Snowboard Champion, Jesse Parkinson, 17, QLD (Barton Lynch)
  • Commonwealth Games representative and three-time National Cycling Record Holder, Alyssa Polites, 19, SA (Leisel Jones OAM)
  • Australian Baseball League player and first Australian to receive an invitation to attend the Perfect Game National Showcase in the USA, Max Stagg, 18, SA (Luc Longley AM)
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