Mudgee High School students Ella Murnane, Kasey Hayes, and Charlotte Roberts, have been recognised for their athletic achievements with their inclusion in the Local Sporting Champions Program, which will also provide them with support to further their endeavours.
The Local Sporting Champions Program provides financial assistance for coaches, officials and competitors aged 12-18 participating in state, national or international championships.
Ella, a cross country runner, received the grant to assist with expenses associated with the School Sport Australia Cross Country Championships 10-19 years, and football (soccer) players Kasey And Charlotte for the FFA National Youth Championships for Girls and National Youth Championships.
Federal Member for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee said that it's important to recognise the successes and dedication of these local athletes.
"I'm delighted to have been able to catch up with Ella, Kasey and Charlotte to congratulate them on this achievement," he said.
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"It's not easy juggling sporting commitments at the highest of levels, with school work, study and all the other things that occupy young people, and it's important that the community recognises these highly deserving athletes for their very impressive achievements. I'd also like to congratulate their parents, families, coaches and the staff at MHS for supporting them along the way - it's been a great team effort."
Mr and Mrs Hayes were proud of their daughter Kasey, in receiving the grant, Tim Hayes said, "she's come a long way and she's done very well". Ella's parents Brett Murnane, and Amy Robertson were also delighted with her achievements, the former said, "it's been a combination of hard work, perseverance and natural ability that has paid off for her". Charlotte Roberts' parents Clayton and Belinda Roberts were equally proud of Charlotte's success in being awarded a grant and for her achievements to date.
Mr Gee added that their inclusion in the program acknowledges that for country athletes it's not just a case of going to the next suburb.
"They have to travel to compete, so there's petrol and accommodation on top of equipment, uniform and the rest of the costs," he said.
"So it really is a big financial imposition and a big commitment in time for the family members. And this is just a small way that the Government can help our local sporting champions achieve their goals and dreams.
"I think they're very valuable for country young people as well, because in cities I think that they can take it for granted that they can just go over to the next suburb to compete - but it's not like that out here."