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Newcastle Knights and Minerva 2022 scholarship announcement

The Minerva Network is delighted to announce the Newcastle Knights and Wests Group Australia have committed to a further $10,000 12-month tertiary scholarship.

The successful applicant will be the fourth young Australian to be awarded a scholarship under the Minerva Network Scholarship Program, which was launched in September 2020. 

Fellow Minerva athletes, Sydney FC and Matilda’s player Jada Whyman, Australian Rowing Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Georgie Rowe OLY, and Surf Ironwoman, Jemma Smith, have also received scholarships.

2021 Newcastle Knights Minerva Scholarship recipient, Jemma Smith, has graduated from the University of Newcastle with Distinction, completing her Bachelor of Education – Secondary Teaching Mathematics and PDHPE. 

Jemma said “receiving the inaugural Minerva Newcastle Knights scholarship is something that I will be forever grateful for."

"The generosity and partnership between these two amazing organisations allowed me to pursue my sporting and educational aspirations simultaneously.

"The support and encouragement I received throughout my final year of my Undergraduate degree was instrumental in helping me graduate.“

The 2022 Newcastle Knights Minerva Scholarship will be open to women athletes who are connected in any way with the Newcastle/Hunter area who would benefit from financial support to complete or commence an Australian certified education or vocational qualification.

The athlete may for example be studying at a Newcastle based institution or have lived in or be from around the Newcastle/Hunter region but studying elsewhere, at any stage of their study and in any sport.

Newcastle Knights Chief Executive Officer Philip Gardner said “we are thrilled to be partnering again with the Minerva Network on supporting women in sport.

"Our club is committed to creating and supporting pathways for women in sport. 

"As an NRL club we have a strong focus on developing rugby league pathways for girls and women, but we also acknowledge the enormous efforts of all women in elite sport and therefore this Scholarship is available to all sporting disciplines”.

Minerva Chairman Christine McLoughlin AM said, “we know from working with elite athletes over the past four years at the Minerva Network that they juggle training, competing and part-time work to pay the bills, along with their studies.  

"Sadly, when the pressure is on and they need to cover some of the bills, too often those studies are sacrificed.

"These scholarships are an investment in our future as the level of skill and discipline shown by our Minerva Athletes in competing at the highest level are precisely the traits we look for in the world of business.

"We hope that other organisations across Australia will follow the lead of the Newcastle Knights and Wests Group, Sydney Roosters and Easts Group and Torrens University as we support the development of these role models who are future Australian leaders.”

The Minerva Network sees the Scholarship program as complementary to the mentoring program and development workshops that is has successfully delivered to date, all on a pro bono basis.