Ten local junior champions receive federal government grants

Champions: From left, Keisha Allen, Alex Prior, Stephen Cuff, Lindsay MP Emma Husar, Sydney Robins, Kaleigh McDonald and Jared Newham.

Champions: From left, Keisha Allen, Alex Prior, Stephen Cuff, Lindsay MP Emma Husar, Sydney Robins, Kaleigh McDonald and Jared Newham.

Ten local elite sports stars have received grants from the federal government.

The 10 young people from around the Penrith area gathered at Lindsay MP Emma Husar’s office on Tuesday, March 14 to receive $500 each under the Local Sporting Champions program, to be put towards the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment associated with their sports.

Each recipient must compete at state level or higher and be aged from 12 to 18 years old to be eligible for the grant.

“Our young sporting champions are competing on the national and international stage and they’re proving that our community is full of young, energetic and extremely talented sportspeople,” Ms Husar said.

Among those receiving the awards was netballer Sydney Robins from Cranebrook, who travelled to Victoria last August to represent NSW at the School Sport Australia 12yrs National Championships, and is now looking to play in the state age championships in July. 

Cyclist Stephen Cuff from Glenmore Park enjoyed a hugely successful year in 2016, which culminated in his incredible victory in the world’s oldest track cycling race, the Austral Wheelrace. Cuff’s next goal is to represent Australia at the Junior Track World Championships in China in August.

Werrington County’s Kaleigh McDonald represented NSW in the U15 division at the SSA 2016 National Touch Championships in Perth, and is now planning to step up to the senior team. Kingswood’s Alex Prior also represented NSW in touch in the boys U12s championships in Perth.

Keisha Allen of Cranebrook has dreams of playing in soccer’s W League after representing Australia in the SSA Football International Tour of the UK. She also competed in the national championships and is aiming for the Matildas. 

Jared Newham of Londonderry has been selected for the Australian pony clubs team travelling to Canada to compete in the Prince Phillip Mounted Games, and was part of the NSW team that placed second in the country last year.

Also receiving the grants but not present on the day were triathlete Aimee Carlin, footballer Phillip Gigliotti, and diver Jade Sweeney.

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