Four of Western Australia's best athletes have been selected as ambassadors for State Government sport and entertainment venue operator, VenuesWest, as part of a program to highlight the role venues play in developing our elite sportspeople.
Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray will today launch the VenuesWest Brand Ambassador Program at HBF Stadium, with each athlete to receive $5,000 to assist with their training and competition expenses.
Each ambassador has competed at the highest levels for Australia and is based at a VenuesWest venue.
VenuesWest operates 13 of Western Australia's premier sport and entertainment venues on behalf of the State Government and directly supports WA's high performance athletes as they strive to compete on the world stage.
The ambassadors are:
Stephen Bird – kayak
Steve, who trains at Champion Lakes Regatta Centre, competed at the 2012 London Olympics Games and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He is now working towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Nikita Hains – diving
Nikita, who trains at HBF Stadium, took up diving four years ago and was selected for the Junior National Championships just two years later before joining the Australian team at the beginning of 2016. Nikita is striving for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Amber Merritt – wheelchair basketball
Amber, who trains at Bendat Basketball Centre, won a silver medal at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and is now aiming for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Brianna Throssell – swimming
Brianna, who trains at HBF Stadium, competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games and is currently aiming for 2018 Commonwealth Games selection while also focusing on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
"The Brand Ambassador Program champions the dreams of four high performance athletes through direct financial assistance towards their training and competition expenses.
"It is my hope that young and aspiring athletes can look to these ambassadors for inspiration and encouragement towards their own sporting goals.
"With the Commonwealth Games being held in Australia in 2018, the launch of this program is fitting recognition of the support VenuesWest offers to some of the State's best athletes.
"VenuesWest delivers nearly $3 million annually to elite sport."