Honouring a champion swimmer taken too soon
SCHOLARSHIP LEGACY FOR MANIAH BETHAM
ST Marys Ripples Swimming Centre has honoured champion Maniah Betham with a special scholarship.
The annual Maniah Betham Squad Scholarship aims to support diligent and dedicated squad swimmers by subsidising the cost of one year’s squad fees at Ripples Swimming Centres.
Maniah died last year of a heart condition called sudden arrhythmic death while playing basketball at his church youth group. Before his death, the 15-year-old Minchinbury resident was a record-breaking champion in swimming, athletics and rugby league.
Ripples program co-ordinator Tania Weatherley said the scholarship was a way for the club to honour Maniah’s memory. “He was such an integral member of our squads team,” she said.
“We felt that we wanted to do something that honoured what he achieved inside and outside the water.”
Maniah’s father Cubitt Betham said the family was moved by the honour.
“We are so happy that the criteria to win the Maniah Betham scholarship reflect his qualities and characteristics,” Mr Betham said.
“He lived as an outstanding champion in the pool but more importantly he was a champion outside the pool in the way he lifted, encouraged and loved others.”
Mr Betham said his son would have been humbled to have a scholarship in his name. “Maniah was a very humble boy never wanting the name brands, latest gadgets or be seen in the in crowd. He found happiness through making others happy.”
The scholarship is valued up to $1560 towards fees at Ripples Swimming Centres.
Joshua Auld, 12, is the first to win the scholarship and said he hoped to make his first national team.
“My aim is to qualify for both the 100m and 200m breaststroke,” Joshua said.
Mr Betham said Joshua was a worthy recipient.
“His drive and determination in the pool are complemented by the exemplary way he treats his coach, fellow squad and competitors outside the pool.” AFTER more than a decade of campaigning, Rooty Hill train station has been earmarked for a multimilliondollar upgrade to include a lift and a commuter carpark.
While the news was welcomed by commuters, Friday’s announcement has been met with scepticism from Mt Druitt MP Edmond Atalla. “This is fantastic news for residents, if this means it is actually going to happen,” Mr Atalla said.
“I welcome the announcement. It’s timely given my recent release criticising the fact there was no funding allocation in the Budget for this upgrade.”
Mr Atalla questioned the lack of detail in the announcement. No time frame has been released.
“The lack of funding details and the fact the announcement was made by the Liberal leader (Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies) for a neighbouring electorate and not the premier or relevant minister is the reason I’m not so sure,” Mr Atalla said.
“If the Premier is truly committed to this announcement, I say put substance to it with funding allocation.”
On Friday, Mrs Davies said the work would be done as part of the NSW Government’s Transport Access Program, an initiative to deliver accessible, modern and integrated infrastructure.
“It still has to go out to tender,” Mrs Davies said.
She said she was seeking more details on time frames.
Dylan and Cubitt Betham, Maniah Betham Squad Scholarship recipient Joshua Auld and Merril Betham, and Maniah (inset).