Craine will have the sporting opportunity of a lifetime, as part of the 2017 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program, and she will receive one-on-one guidance from beach volleyball Olympic gold medallist Kerri Pottharst OAM.
Craine is a rising star in world figure skating, winning the Australian senior title in 2015, before going on to finish 16th in the free skate competition at the world junior figure skating championships in Estonia. Making her senior world championships debut in 2016, Craine finished 27th in Boston.
She said the opportunity to learn from the very best, along with the significant financial boost, was an incredible opportunity.
“With the mentoring program, listening to the other athlete’s experiences will be interesting, but the funding also helps so much,” Craine said of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
“It makes training in other environments like Los Angeles possible, where I can skate and learn with Olympic champions,” she said. “It’s an entirely different scene, helping to adapt and begin skating like them.”
The 18-year-old is Australia’s leading figure skating prospect heading into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang and says she’s “powering up to next year’s qualifying season for the Winter Olympics,” and can’t wait to meet the other scholarship holders and Hall of Fame members at the awards in Melbourne next month.
“It will be a really great experience to meet everyone at the event and work with the mentors,” Craine said.
“I was in the middle of my trial exams when I got the call about the mentoring program. I was really stressed so it made everything so much better – it was the best news.”
The Scholarship and Mentoring Program aims to help talented young Australians achieve at the highest level of sport, by providing support and funding for a period of 12 months.
Scholarship holders receive one-on-one personal mentoring by a current member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, in what is a unique and life changing experience. Recipients will also be awarded a $5,000 sporting expenses grant, as well as one international return economy flight thanks to Etihad Airways.
Awarded annually as part of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner – supported by Etihad Airways – the five successful recipients will be presented their scholarships by their respective mentors on Thursday, 13th October 2016 at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.
Olympic beach volleyball gold medallist and 2014 Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee Kerri Pottharst, said she is looking forward to learning about a completely new sport when she mentors Crane.
“I can’t do what she does, but I can help her get to the next level, develop belief and plan her success,” Pottharst said.
Pottharst and playing partner Natalie Cook developed their ‘Gold Medal Excellence Plan’ in the lead up to Sydney and the trademarks easily apply to other sports and all facets of life.
“It’s about developing belief. If somebody else can do it, why can’t I? So I’ll be asking Kailani that question and can’t wait to be involved in her journey,” Pottharst said.
Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chairman John Bertrand AO, who was a mentor to 2013 scholarship holder and Olympic silver medallist Olivia Price, said “the mentoring is a ‘money can't buy’ opportunity. The impact of the mentoring on our scholarship holders has been profound.”
“The five successful scholarship recipients have demonstrated they are quality young people within sport and life in general and it is a privilege to play a vital role in nurturing the nation’s next wave of talent – both as athletes and people,” said Bertrand.
2017 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program
Kailani Craine (Figure Skating) - Kerri Pottharst OAM (Beach Volleyball)
Elloise Devlin (Equestrian) - Kieren Perkins OAM (Swimming)
Caleb Grothues (Motocross) - Stan Longinidis (Kick Boxing)
Amanda Reid (Para-Cycling) - Louise Sauvage OAM (Para-Athletics)
Bradley Woodward (Swimming, Surf Life Saving, Royal Life Saving) - Clint Robinson OAM (Canoe/Kayak, Surf Life Saving)
Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program Background
Since the introduction of the program in 2006, 58 young Australian athletes (view full list) have benefited from 61 scholarships and the opportunity of a lifetime to draw on the experience and wisdom of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame members in addition to the valuable cash grant and international airfare.
Such is the success of the program that 20 past and present scholarship recipients represented Australia at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, including dual Paralympic wheelchair tennis gold medallist Dylan Alcott OAM, Paralympic swimming gold medallist Maddison Elliott OAM, cycling team pursuit silver medallists Jack Bobridge and Alex Edmondson, archery team bronze medal winner Alec Potts and synchronised 3m springboard bronze medallist Anabelle Smith.
Other notable graduates of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program include Patrick Mills (basketball), Lauren Mitchell (gymnastics), Jessicah Schipper (swimming) and Caroline Buchanan (BMX).
Scholarship holders have been privileged to be mentored by such Australian sporting greats as; Catherine Freeman OAM, Susie O’Neill OAM, Rechelle Hawkes OAM, Adam Gilchrist AM, Robert de Castella AO MBE and Sport Australia Hall OF Fame Chairman John Bertrand AO.
2016 will mark the 32nd edition of this event, with a further eight Australian sporting icons, from on and off the field, to be inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
In addition to the eight inductees, Australian sport’s ‘night of nights’ will see the elevation of one current member to Legend status, becoming the official 38th Legend of Australian Sport. The night will also celebrate ‘The Don’ Award which is widely regarded as Australia’s most prestigious contemporary sporting award.
Established in 1985, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame plays a vital role in preserving and perpetuating Australia’s rich sporting heritage, whilst promoting the values of courage, sportsmanship, integrity, mateship, persistence, and excellence, all underpinned by generosity, modesty, pride and ambition.
For further information (media only), please contact Sport Australia Hall of Fame media:
(03) 9822 7110 or 0417 272 641