SOPAC’s Oscar Stubbs will receive words of wisdom, encouragement and inspiration from one of Australia’s greatest athletes after being named as a 2020 Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipient.
Stubbs is one of six emerging para athletes to receive the accolade joining Jessica Conje (basketball), Maryann Latu (basketball), Aimee Fisher (athletics), Kailyn Joseph (athletics) and Benjamin Said (cycling).
Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) and the Carbine Club of NSW joined forces once again to create the scholarship program which targets talented individual para sport athletes in NSW. The initiative receives program support from NSWIS and is also fully endorsed by Paralympics Australia.
Designed to support para sport’s ‘future talent’ and fast track their development to achieve success at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Kurt Fearnley Scholarship holders receive financial support up to $3,750 based on their individual requirements, NSWIS program support up to $1,000 including assistance with performance planning and access to NSWIS facilities, and most importantly, mentorship from the dual Commonwealth Games and three-time Paralympic gold medallist.
At last year’s Hancock Prospecting Australian Age Swimming Championships, Stubbs – who is a swimming allrounder – took home five gold medals, one silver and three bronze medals spanning all four strokes.
The 19-year-old was part of this year’s Para Development Camp which took place in Melbourne ahead of the first leg of the World Para Swimming World Series at Melbourne Sports Centres – MSAC. At this international meet, and against tough competition, Stubbs claimed two bronze medals in the men’s 50m Breaststroke and 50m freestyle multi-class.
Stubbs said he was thrilled to receive the honour.
“I’m really honoured to receive a Kurt Fearnley Scholarship for 2020, it’s a real privilege and I can’t wait to be mentored by one of Australia’s most inspirational athletes,” Stubbs said.
“I have many goals I’d love to achieve in my swimming career, and I know this scholarship will go a long way in helping me reach my potential.”
Last year, Bay and Basin’s Jasmine Greenwood and Auburn’s Ricky Betar benefited from the program as two of its inaugural recipients – which Fearnley mentioned at the teleconference announcement.
“Our first group of athletes have all produced excellent results in 2019, including Jasmine Greenwood, who at just fourteen won an Australian title and won bronze at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships along with six other top eight placings, as did Ricky Betar who took home bronze in the 4x100m freestyle (S14) and set world records in the S14 50m and 100m freestyle events during 2019," Fearnley said.
Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips said the scholarship program was an important part of developing the next para-sport representatives at the Commonwealth Games.
“The Birmingham 2022 Games with eight para sports, will have more para-sport events on the programme at a Commonwealth Games than ever before, and we want to provide our young athletes with the opportunity to fulfil their sporting aspirations,’’ Phillips said.