Posted 30 May 2018
Article – We Sponsor You
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We Sponsor You - Our Member Stories
Thanks to all our members who entered our We Sponsor You promotion.
Here are just a few of our members’ stories.
Zahra's Quest - helping victims of domestic violence
Ross Wait and four good mates have committed to raising $50,000 for the Zahra Foundation Australia.
Established by Arman Abrahimzadeh after the murder of his mother Zahra by her husband in 2010, the foundation helps women and children who have been victims of domestic violence to gain financial independence and live a life free of abuse.
Ross, whose group of friends has known Zahra’s son, Arman, for over 10 years says “We want to encourage younger men to treat women with respect and join our movement to stop domestic violence.”
In order to raise the $50,000, the group will be trekking the Kokoda Trail in late September on a journey they’ve named ‘Zahra’s Quest.’
It’s a fantastic cause, but the boys know the grueling 96-kilometre, seven-day mission is going to require some serious mental fortitude and physical courage.
“Most of us are pretty fit but it’s the sustained amount of walking with 21 kilos on our backs that will be the challenge,” says Ross.
The money raised by Ross and his mates will help between 60-100 people via the Opportunity Knox Program, an initiative that helps women and children with educational expenses like training courses, uniforms and resources they may need, to assist the women to re-enter the workforce or to help the children at school.
Safe trekking guys.
Hannah Johnston donated her $1,000 to the Jodi Lee Foundation as well as taking part in the Foundations’ 75km two day trek.
A roller derby official, Justin Burgess is using his sponsorship to cover the costs of certification training so he can continue to referee the sport he loves.
Naliah Rigby’s dream is to play Softball for South Australia, she’s putting her $1,000 towards new equipment and coaching.
Hayley Sands - an amazing story of determination
Hayley Sands was a budding netballer until a freak accident resulted in her becoming a tetraplegic when she was just 12 years old. In tragic circumstances, she was knocked unconscious and suffered spinal injuries from a rare case of severe whiplash as she hit the water when diving into her backyard pool.
After eight months in hospital, she was only able to regain some slight movement in her arms and grip in her hands. Her life had been turned upside down. But it was going to take more than that for Hayley to let go of her dreams of playing high-level sport.
“The Woodville Table Tennis Club took her on board and were so accepting of her,” Hayley’s mum Sharon explained. “They all get behind and support each other at their games. It’s been absolutely amazing for her confidence.”
And with the help of her $1,000 sponsorship, Hayley recently competed in the Australian Para Championships in Canberra and came home with a silver medal!
At 18, Hayley’s aim now is to play as many matches and tournaments as she can in order to earn ranking points and achieve her long-term goal of making the Australian squad for the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.
Abby Middleton - a future Matildas star
Taking to the field and playing soccer is what 13-year-old Abby from McLaren Vale loves to do best.
Abby plays with Football Federation South Australia’s (FFSA) under 14s state squad and trains three-times-a-week as well as competing in games on the weekend. “The sponsorship takes away some of our financial pressures and the money will be used to help Abby attend future away soccer competitions,” Abby’s mum Sharon says.
“Playing sport can get very expensive including not only registration fees, travel and uniform costs but additional expenses such as accommodation and flights to attend interstate competitions,” Sharon says.
Abby is determined to one day play for Australia’s national women’s soccer team, the Matildas. “It’s awesome to see Health Partners wants to help me get there,” Abby says.
A Matilda in the making – go for it Abby!
Josh Walding’s goal is to compete in an Ironman half triathlon. His sponsorship deal covers his event registration and helps him to upgrade his bike.
Training for her first full road marathon, mum of 4, Melissa McSeveney’s sponsorship helps her to cover event fees and training gear.
Keen to improve his skills in wakeboarding, 9 year old Emmanuel Lentakis is using his $1,000 towards lessons and upgrading his wakeboarding gear.
Mark Dawson - endurance at its best
Mark Dawson is taking his lifelong love of running to the next level by competing in the Powerman World Championships duathlon, and we’re thrilled to help him get there with a $1,000 sponsorship.
Comprising of 10km and 30km runs either side of a 150km cycle through Switzerland’s unforgiving mountainous terrain, the world-renowned duathlon is the ultimate test of stamina, but Mark is ready for the challenge.
“This year, I’m striving to be the one to break the finish line tape and have the Australian flag draped on my shoulders,” he says.
It is this determination that powered Mark through a successful high school and university running career and led him to represent his state in cross country and road running. His passion and enthusiasm turned to duathlons after his son made the South Australian team for the Schools Triathlon National Championships.
Since then, Mark has been virtually unstoppable, competing in events such as the Australian Three Peaks race where he ran 140km of mountain trails in Tasmania, and the New York City Marathon.
“It’s great to see Health Partners supporting grassroots sportspeople”, he says. “This sponsorship funding will help to cover my race entry, uniform fees and physiological testing to help with energy management for the 9-hour race.”
Grace Knight - one surf at a time
16-year-old Grace Knight has already been surfing for half her life, a passion she hopes to take to the next level thanks to her $1,000 sponsorship. Growing up on a farm where the nearest surf beach was a three hour round trip, Grace was still determined to immerse herself in the sport she loves.
“I love surfing in competitions, but am at a distinct disadvantage compared to surfers from the eastern states, who have any number of surf breaks at their doorsteps,” she says. “I make the most of every opportunity available to me, and when I can’t get in the water I’m either at the local skate-park working on technique with my skateboard or in the gym working on strength and fitness.”
Her perseverance is paying off as she recently took out the title of under-18 state champ at the inaugural Southern Surf Festival in Middleton last month, as well as the women’s open shortboard title. But she isn’t stopping there and will use her sponsorship to connect with a competition level coach to improve her surfing skills.
Grace’s mum Belinda is thrilled at the support Health Partners has been able to provide her daughter as she strives to fulfill her dream of surfing with the pros. “I love that lots of everyday people can have an opportunity to be inspired or to get out and do something they love.”
After suffering a multiple sclerosis relapse 5 years ago, Cameron Bache discovered freediving. His sponsorship is helping him buy the equipment he needs for his new passion.
Catrina Tan love badminton and aspires to one day represent Australia. She’ll be using her sponsorship to pay the cost of U19 Badminton National Championship.
A keen runner, Luke Boehm is using his sponsorship to enter the Buffalo stampede Skymarathon at Bright. No easy feat, this marathon involves an ascent of over 2,000 metres!
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