For the last 15 years The Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation (DOYSF) have held the annual awards dinner to celebrate the awarding of scholarships for a young batch of future sports stars. This dinner also doubles up as the main fundraiser for the foundation to fund the scholarships and provide mentoring and development for the young athletes of the west.
The scholarships are awarded by an independent panel of judges which include NZ olympic selectors and are open to any athlete with a home address in West Auckland (boundary Map) between their 14th and 21st Birthday.
This year the selectors have awarded 13 athletes with a scholarship headed by Tyla Nathan-Wong of the New Zealand Women’s World Cup Champion Sevens team. Tyla is the sole recipient of a gold scholarship worth $5000 to aid her touch rugby aspirations.
The remaining 12 awards being 5 silver scholarships and seven bronze. They cover sports as diverse as surfing, judo (two scholarships), wrestling, motorbike racing, diving, rowing and waterpolo as well as athletics, cycling and swimming.
“Our schools, clubs and Sport Waitakere do wonderful work to nurture their young talents while “Don Oliver” sponsors, donors, and people who buy tickets to the dinner and buy auction items, are the people who make the scholarships possible,
“In return, by using expert selection panels, we have been able to identify and help dozens of young west Aucklanders reach for their dreams. Tyla is an example, so is Lauren Boyle the country’s top Olympic swimmer and Melissa Ingram before her. Alexis Pritchard our pioneering women’s boxer, Liz Lamb, the country’s top high jumper, Steph McKenzie a top women’s cyclist and many more, too numerous to mention,” Bindoff says.
“That support is there year after year. We have huge support from very generous people and organisations, some of whom have been with us from the start,” Says Don Oliver Chairman Dai Bindoff.
“We’ve got scholars and past scholars in national teams in many codes, we’ve had a world champion, and every Olympic and Commonwealth Games team for the last 16 years, has had at least on present or past Don Oliver scholar in it – sometimes as many as five or six.
Check out more photos from last years dinner here
The awards will be presented at the Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation Dinner and Auction on 18 July, at The Trusts Arena with rugby legend Eric Rush as guest speaker. Tickets to the dinner are open to the public and can be purchased through Event Finda at www.eventfinda.co.nz/donoliver.
Athlete profiles of winners will be available on our web site soon.