Three young Northland athletes are approaching 2020 with a bit more cash in their back pocket after they received the first ever scholarships from Sport Northland's Kauri Club.

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Out of eight applicants, squash star Riley-Jack Vette-Blomquist, para athlete Daniel Meyer and volleyballer Tarquala Whittaker-Stone were chosen as recipients of three $2000 scholarships last month, which was a first for the Kauri Club in its 19-year history.

The Kauri Club fund, which was created with the Northland Community Foundation (NCF) to financially support talented sportspeople in Northland, was the first named fund underneath the umbrella of the Northland Sports Fund, which was created in partnership by the NCF and Sport Northland.

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The NCF invests the funds which are donated or bequeathed through local firm Craigs Investments Partners and then delivers the interest back in the form of grants. In the case of the Kauri Club Fund, the interest is given back to Sport Northland, which then uses an independent panel to distribute the money to local sportspeople.

Whittaker-Stone was selected in the New Zealand youth beach and indoor volleyball teams to travel to California in July and Australia (indoor) in October. Photo / File
Whittaker-Stone was selected in the New Zealand youth beach and indoor volleyball teams to travel to California in July and Australia (indoor) in October. Photo / File

The scholarships were aimed at high-performing young athletes to assist them over a year with furthering their sporting endeavours such as attending national and international competitions as well as coaching camps.

Applications were assessed by the Northland Sports Talent Development Panel made up of representatives from the Far North, Kaipara and Whangārei Districts and Sport Northland.

The three athletes received half of their scholarship in October and would receive the second half around October next year once they had reported back to the panel of their sporting achievements and attended talent hub sessions.

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"These scholarships recognise the commitment and high level our local athletes have aspired to," development panel member James Morris said.

As a national age-group squash champion, Riley-Jack Vette-Blomquist was a deserving recipient a Kauri Club scholarship. Photo / File
As a national age-group squash champion, Riley-Jack Vette-Blomquist was a deserving recipient a Kauri Club scholarship. Photo / File

Read more: Vette-Blomquist off to World Junior Championships

Morris congratulated the recipients and hoped the funding boost would go a long way in developing their skills in their chosen code.

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"We have loads of local sporting talent trying to achieve on shoestring budgets so it's great to have the Kauri Club assisting."

Sport Northland systems lead Janine Moy said offering scholarships had been a long-time goal for the Kauri Club.

"It's something the Kauri Club has been wanting to strive for a number of years... this year were able to increase the pool of money we had and back some athletes over a longer period of time," she said.

Moy said the scholarships were awarded on the basis of the athletes' achievements at a national and international level, as well as their potential for the future. She hoped the Kauri Club would be able to award a larger number of scholarships in the future.

In addition to the scholarships, a further 15 Northland athletes were selected from 17 applicants and were awarded grants of between $150 and $500 from the Kauri Club to assist the athletes to cover some of the many expenses incurred in travelling to events outside the region including several athletes heading overseas to represent New Zealand.

These new grants and scholarships now total $237,500 which had been allocated to talented Northland Sportspeople since the Kauri Club was formed in 2000. The funding was received from the family of the late Garry Frew and the Brian Maunsell Memorial Trust fund.

Grant recipients:

Bella Earl - Athletics (Whangārei)

Carlisa McCarroll - Clay Target Shooting (Kaipara)

D'Artagnan Gould - Karate (Whangārei)

Kingiteahuahu Tana - Karate (Mid North)

Jayden Himiona - Rowing (Whangārei)

Cleo Boyd - Sailing (Mid North)

Tom Robinson - Surfing (Whangārei)

Tai Erceg-Gray - Surfing (Whangārei)

Madeline Whittam - Swimming (Whangārei)

Daniel Hammond - Tennis (Whangārei)

Rebecca Clements - Tennis (Mid North)

Demi Crabb - Volleyball (Whangārei)

Jaden Kauwhata - Wheelchair Basketball, Para Track Chair Racing/Sprinting (Mid North)

Annie Hill - Waka Ama (Whangārei)

Kiara Henry - Waka Ama (Whangārei)