Game for ambassador roles
FOUR of WA’S best athletes were named as Venueswest brand ambassadors this month, to help their quest to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games.
Dual Olympic kayaker Stephen Bird, 2012 London Paralympic Games basketball silver medallist Amber Merritt, national diver Nikita Hains and 2016 Rio Olympic Games butterfly swimmer Brianna Throssell received $5000 to assist with training and competition expenses.
The cheques were part of the State Government and Venueswest’s Brand Ambassador Program.
The athletes train at Champion Lakes Regatta Centre, HBF Stadium and Bendat Basketball Centre respectively.
Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray and Venueswest chairman Richard Muirhead presented the cheques at an event at HBF Stadium.
Dianella resident Hains, who is striving towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games, said she was grateful to have become an ambassador.
Bird, who also trains at Bayswater Paddlesports Club and is a member of Canning River Canoe Club, said he was working towards his last Olympics in Tokyo, after finishing eighth in the K1200m in Rio.
“It is a great opportunity to engage with community and young people, as well as stakeholders involved like Venueswest,” he said.
“This is an opportunity to train more professionally.
“I believe if I can do the right training, enjoy it and keep stimulated, in Tokyo, there is no reason why I can’t go for a medal.
Merritt said the Australian team would be playing world championship qualifiers against Japan and China in October, which will help them prepare for Olympic qualification.
“Unfortunately, our program here in Australia did not qualify for Rio in 2016,” she said.
Wheelchair basketballer Amber Merritt, diver Nikita Hains and kayaker Stephen Bird.