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Jessie Rice-Ward Named Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program Recipient 2022

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) today announced its Scholarship and Mentoring Program for 2022 which will see five Olympic champions and one of rugby’s greatest ever players mentor Australia’s next generation of stars, including equestrian jumping athlete Jessie-Rice Ward who will be mentored by Dawn Fraser.

The SAHOF Scholarship and Mentoring Program comprises three tiers. Tier 1 recipients recognising six young athletes from the sports of Sailing, Athletics, Cycling, Wakeboarding, Equestrian and Skiing were revealed today, with each athlete receiving one-on-one personal mentoring from a Sport Australia Hall of Fame Member, $10,000 sporting expense grant and an invitation to attend an event, where they will formally accept their Scholarship.

The nation’s leading sports scholarship program, which is supported by Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport, awards 32 scholarships and $150,000 in funding to future stars to support them in their quest for excellence and success on the world stage.

The 2022 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Tier 1 Scholarship Holders are:

Two-time Australian and NSW equestrian champion, Jess Rice-Ward, 19, NSW (Dawn Fraser AC MBE)
World Under 21 sailing champion, dual Australian National and Oceania Champion, Zac Littlewood, 20, WA (Steve Hooker OAM)
Four-time National cycling champion and four-time Australian record holder, Alessia McCaig, 18, VIC (Matthew Mitcham OAM)
Australia’s No.1 senior wakeboarder, Mikayo Mundy, 17, QLD (Malcolm Page OAM)
Tokyo Olympics 400 metre runner, Youth Commonwealth Games champion and bronze medallist at the World Athletics Championships, Bendere Oboya, 21, VIC (Stephanie Rice OAM)
World No.17-ranked moguls competitor and top 20 finisher at eight World Cups in 2021, Cooper Woods, 21, NSW (John Eales AM)

Jessie 'Jess' Rice-Ward, born November 15, 2001, in Central West NSW, followed in her mother and brother’s successful footsteps, and was riding horses before she could walk.

Jess has represented her country on eight occasions, five times internationally. For most of her life she has travelled around Australia competing in all the biggest competitions.

"I’m immensely honoured to be recognised by SAHOF and equally grateful for the opportunities the Scholarship & Mentoring Program will give myself as an aspiring elite athlete. Any equestrian discipline is an extremely technical and challenging sport that involves a large number of factors both physically and mentally that determine our performance. Having the chance to collaborate with a sporting great. Dawn Fraser as my mentor will unquestionably benefit my career as I believe the mental aspect of sport can often be the most difficult to manage for athletes. I urge all rising Australian athletes to apply for the Scholarship; it is without a doubt, a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Jessie.

Mentor, Dawn Fraser AC MDE, said:

"Jess is an equestrian and when I saw that she (Jess) was selected, I knew I wanted to be her Mentor and be paired with her... horses is of great knowledge to me and I love horses and I’m looking forward to mentoring Jess."

Watch Dawn's full reaction here.

Equestrian Australia CEO, Darren Gocher, said:

"It is a tremendous honour for Jessie Rice-Ward to be among the select group of young athletes who will receive a Tier 1 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship in 2022. The fact that Jessie is just the third equestrian athlete to receive a SAHOF Scholarship since the program's inception adds to the significance of the recognition, as does her pairing with one of our nations’ greatest sporting legends, Dawn Fraser, as her Mentor.

"Jessie has firmly established herself as a rising star of equestrian sport having won numerous national and international accolades, including Victorian State Young Rider Champion for 2021 and being named Australian Junior Showjumping Champion on two consecutive occasions.

"We are grateful to the SAHOF for providing Jessie with such a wonderful opportunity as she pursues her dream of representing Australia at the highest level of equestrian sport, and we look forward to following her successful career."

Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia

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