Local sporting champions recognised

7 March 2018

A number of our local sporting champions have been recognised for their achievements at the elite level.

Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie today congratulated Wingham’s Benjamin Cross, Harrington’s Tilley Hunter, Cundletown’s Jade Page and Nicholas Gilbert of Mitchells Island who have been recognised under the Australian Institute of Sports’ Local Sporting Champions Program.

“The AIS Local Sporting Champions Program is an initiative of the our government designed to provide financial assistance for young sportsmen and women aged 12 to 18 years old to compete in State, National or international sporting events,” Dr Gillespie said.

“I am very pleased to congratulate our young sporting heroes who are excelling in their chosen field and representing our region in State, National and International events.”

“I hope these championship milestones that they have worked so hard to gain would broaden their experience in sports and that they will continuously aim to strive to grow further and become role models.”

The financial assistance goes towards cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment when competing at an official national sporting organisation endorsed State, National or International Sporting Championship or a School Sport Australia State, National or International championships.

Those who received the AIS award this year are the following:

Benjamin Cross (Wingham NSW)

Benjamin Cross competed in the National Road Cycling Championship held at Ballarat last January 18. He previously finished 4th in the U17 National Cycling Championships, finished 5th in the State Championships, and 11th in the State Road Race. Recently completed the NRS Tour of the Great South Coast and won Day 2 of the Cootamundra State open. He has travelled to South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria to compete in this sport. He hopes to race professionally in Europe.

Ben was also recognised as Rotary Wingham’s Young Sportsperson of the Year in the 2018 Australia Day celebrations.

Tilley Hunter (Harrington NSW)

Tilley Hunter represented NSW Hockey and was granted $3250 to compete in Perth in October last year. She previously captained the Under13 Manning Valley Hockey Team and played in State competitions representing the Manning Valley region. Her goal is to represent Australia in international competitions.

Jade Page (Cundletown NSW)

Jade Page competed in the 13th World Nations Dragon Boat Championship in Canada and was the youngest paddler in the team. Before she was selected for the competition, Jade attended a selection camp in Canberra and spent the next 10 months preparing for the world championship.

Nicholas Gilbert (Mitchells Island NSW)

From age eight, Nicholas competed in various athletics events before finally qualifying last year in the Australian All-Schools Championships and State level. He took the 1st and 2nd places in both discus and 110m hurdles. Nicholas is committed to athletics as sport and he has been helping coach the Little Athletics Club in Taree.

Jamie Hemingway (Wingham NSW)

Jamie Hemingway competed in the Australian National Hockey League Championship held in Perth last year. Prior to the selection, she participated in the NSW Combined High Schools Championship representing the Hunter Region, Under18 National Championship and trialled in the NSW Open Championships. For Jamie, playing in the League is the pinnacle for women’s hockey at State and Territory levels. She hopes to be considered for the national team.

To find out more about AIS grants go to https://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/grants_and_funding


Dr David Gillespie MP, Tilley Hunter (Hockey), Nicholas Gilbert (Athletics) and Jade Page (Australian Dragon Boat).


Dr David Gillespie MP & Jamie Hemingway (Hockey)

Dr David Gillespie MP & Benjamin Cross (Cycling)

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