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Rising swim stars awarded Georgina Hope Rinehart swim scholarships

Australian Junior World Championship swimmers, Amy Forrester and Sam Young have each been awarded a prestigious swimming scholarship - the Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarship - to study at Bond University in 2016.

The scholarship aims to provide opportunities and support for high performing young swimmers to complete their studies at the University whilst also competing at an elite level in the pool.

This year 17-year-old Amy made the Australian Junior World Championship Team and the Australian Youth Commonwealth Team, scoring gold in the Girls Under 18 4 x 200 metre freestyle relay and 4 x 100 metre medley relay at the Australian Age Nationals. She also took home a silver medal in the Girls 17 years 200 metre backstroke event at the same meet.

Amy has broken four Australian Age records and 20 Queensland age records in her swimming career to date, but undoubtedly one of the highlights was her selection on the Australian Youth Olympic Team to represent her country in China in 2014; one of only four girls in Australia to swim at the event.

Amy has held numerous leadership positions in recent years including Swimming Captain of the Queensland team in 2012 and House Leader and School Swimming Captain at Clayfield College. She has also achieved academic honours and consistently high grades throughout her senior studies.

Amy, who loves to write, is excited at the opportunity to study a Bachelor of Journalism at Bond from January 2016 and relocate to the Gold Coast.

“The Bond swim coaches are very experienced and their program is of an extremely high quality,” she said.

“Everyone I’ve met from Bond has been friendly, welcoming and eager to help me and I already feel at home.

“To have the flexibility to balance timetables and exams with the travel and training requirements of my swimming will make a massive difference for me.

“I am very proud to be awarded the Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarship. It will open many doors and alleviate the financial pressure of university, which will allow me to concentrate better on my study and my swimming.”

18-year-old Sam Young from Brisbane Grammar School represented his country this year at the Australian Junior World Championships and broke Bond alumnus Andrew Baildon’s 27-year-old record in the 100 metre freestyle at the GPS Championships. He was also crowned Australian Age Champion in the 17-18 years 200 metre freestyle.

in the past four years, Sam has made the National Youth Squad twice and the Queensland Development Squad three times and has also been identified by Swimming Australia as ‘one to watch’ and a future Open Australian Swimming team member.

The aspiring Olympic swimmer has effectively balanced his national, international and GPS swim competitions with a rigorous training schedule and achieved commendable academic results. 

Sam said he’s looking forward to training at an elite level and making new friends when he commences a Bachelor of Interactive Media & Design at Bond in January 2016.

"To be studying and training at Bond University on the Gold Coast is perfect timing ahead of the Commonwealth Games,” he said.

“Being awarded this scholarship is truly a life-changing experience which I’m very grateful for.

“I’m incredibly excited about stepping up and training with the elite Bond University swimming squad, who will undoubtedly push me to the next level.

“This scholarship lifts the financial burden of university from my shoulders and ensures I will have career outcomes beyond swimming.”

Unsurprisingly, the two young swimmers both have the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2020 Olympic Games firmly in their sights.

Patron of the Scholarship program and long standing supporter of both Bond University and Swimming Australia, Mrs Gina Rinehart said it was vitally important to invest in the next generation of sporting champions.

“The partnership with Bond University is a wonderful initiative to allow hard-working, dedicated young athletes – Australia’s next generation of swimming greats - to realise their full potential by giving them the opportunity to gain a quality education and further their leadership skills,” Mrs Rinehart said. “It is the hope that this will enhance their experience as elite athletes and potential leaders, and of course provide them with ongoing career opportunities.”

“I look forward to hearing of Sam and Amy’s successes, who are both very worthy recipients, both in and out of the pool.”

Garry Nucifora, Executive Director of Sport at Bond University, said the Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarship was among the most prestigious scholarships available to young sporting hopefuls in Australia.

“Both Sam and Amy are focused, committed, resilient, strong-willed and genuine leaders – and these are precisely the qualities Bond looks for in its sports scholars,” he said.

“We are very grateful to Mrs Rinehart for her invaluable support of our students and her continued commitment to developing Australia’s sporting talent.”

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