Photo from left to right: Riria Ata, Hannah Webb, Maia Campbell, Claire Elmers, Angus Blair and Oska Smith (absent for the photo).
Eastland Port has proudly announced the recipients of their esteemed $1000 water sports sponsorships, aimed at supporting the endeavours of talented local athletes.
The sponsorship grants are designed to alleviate travel, training costs, or equipment expenses for high performance athletes.
Eastland Port Chief Operating Officer Andrew Gaddum said, “This year we received a staggering 30 applications. However, six outstanding individuals emerged who serve as exemplary role models on and off the water.”
The recipients are as follows:
Maia Campbell – Waka Ama
Maia is a passionate athlete and volunteer coach at Horouta Waka Hoe. He says the funds will go a long way in supporting his sporting aspirations including defending the several world titles he obtained at the London World Championship in 2022.
Riria Ata – Waka Ama
Riria is the youngest of the successful applicants and says she is enormously humbled to be chosen as an Eastland Port Water Sports Athlete and is looking forward to competing at the upcoming Waka Ama Sprint Nationals and various others national/international events later this year.
Hannah Webb – Kayaking/Surf Life Saving
Hannah who represents the Gisborne Kayak Club said, “The sponsorship means more than just financial support - it's a validation of the hard work, dedication, and love I've poured into my sport.”
Hannah and her squad will be jetting off to Sydney in May to compete in the Asia Pacific Cup.
Angus Blair – Swimming/Surf Life Saving/Open Water Swimming
Angus is a distinguished role model both on and off the water. He said, “It’s a huge honour to have received the sponsorship which will assist me with travels costs to compete at the Australian Championships this year.”
With aspirations to uphold his podium finish, Angus is honoured to represent his commitment to the competition once again.
Oska Smith – Surf Life Saving
Oska, a Waikanae Surf Life Saver and 2023 Junior Black Fin Captain is going to use the sponsorship to access specialist strength and conditioning coaching to assist him as he works towards his goal of making the Open New Zealand team for the World Surf Life Saving Championship in August.
Claire Elmers – Jet ski Racing
Claire is an up and coming jet ski racer who took the podium at the New Zealand Jet Ski Racing Winter Series last year. She says the sponsorship will go towards upgrading her safety gear and improving the speed of her jet ski for the 2024 season.
Mr Gaddum said, “We have been very impressed with the background of each of these athletes, having either competed at international levels or with imminent plans to do so.
"We are really proud to get behind these young people who are representing our community, especially at such a high level.
“We hope the sponsorship can propel them toward their aspirations, whether on the waves, in competitions worldwide, or as ambassadors for their sport within the community.”