The Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund (SESF) and the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) Foundation are delighted to announce a two-year partnership to support young Australian sports people to play sport at the highest level.
As a major partner, the MCC Foundation will contribute financially to support bursaries for students who are chosen to represent their state or country but whose financial circumstances would otherwise prevent them from participating at these Championships across a two-year period in 2021 and 2022.
The SESF, founded in 2012, has supported over 150 students with scholarships through the Fund. The Fund serves to remove financial and emotional barriers, preventing young Victorian students from low socio-economic, Indigenous or rural and regional backgrounds to play represent their state or country.
The Fund also supports scholarship winners with year-long mentoring opportunities with the likes of defending Olympic and Commonwealth Games 400m swimming champion and Tokyo Olympic Games 2021 athlete, Mack Horton OAM, four-time Commonwealth Games Medalist in Marathons, Steve Moneghetti AM and dual Olympian and Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winner in Gymnastics, Ash Brennan.
The SESF boast alumni representing on the national stage, including 2020 AFLW best-and-fairest winner, Madison Prespakis, Richmond AFLW best-and-fairest winner, Monique Conti and Hawthorn Football Club rising star, Changkuoth Jiath.
SESF Chairperson, Peter Wright, said the Fund was delighted to partner with the MCC Foundation, an organisation who is committed to enhancing opportunities in sport.
“We are very proud of today’s announcement to work alongside the MCC Foundation, who join as a major partner and part of the family of our supporting partners investing in the dreams of young Australians,” Mr Wright said.
“The Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund provides that fork in the road moment – an athlete who may not otherwise have the chance to compete for their state for financial reasons.
“The journey to elite sporting competition is one that requires physical, emotional and financial commitment and sacrifice, and for some young athletes, this will be their Olympic moment.
“You only need to hear the stories from our athletes to understand the importance of this program, one that we look forward to extending beyond Victoria and supporting young athletes across the country.”
SESF Mentor, Steve Moneghetti said the impact of the scholarships go beyond the sporting experience and into each individual’s academic, social and future opportunities.
“We believe that ongoing education and mentoring is crucial for these beneficiaries, it’s important to extend these relationships beyond the pitch, pool or track,” Moneghetti said.
“We place huge value on our alumni and the efforts to stay connected with our champions and their families as they progress.
“The benefit of mentoring is also not just limited to the young athlete. As mentors, we thrive on the opportunity and experience to give back to the sports that gave us so much.”
MCC Foundation Chair, Sally Macindoe said the Foundation was delighted to play a role in shaping the future of the athletes of tomorrow.
“The MCC was born from a shared passion for sport, and is united by our love of sport,” Ms Macindoe said.
“But the Club and our members aren’t satisfied by merely watching it or even playing it, we strive to advance it and share it with others.
“The MCC Foundation is committed to providing all people with access to sport, and promoting and developing sport throughout communities.
“We are proud to welcome the SESF as one of our valued MCC Foundation partners, and in our partnership, help break down the barriers that prevent people from reaching their potential in sport and academia.”
The SESF joins the Bachar Houli Foundation, Special Olympics Australia and the Santa Teresa Oval Project in the Northern Territory as community partners of the MCC Foundation.
The MCC Foundation is a not-for-profit entity of the Melbourne Cricket Club, ground managers of the MCG, and provides financial support to several community sport activities and programs.
For more information on the SESF and bursary applications, visit www.sesf.org.au