A young Whakatane sportswoman is one of the first recipients of the Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship.

The scholarship programme was officially launched last night and honoured the late Tania Dalton's passion for supporting young women in sport.

The former Silver Fern died in March of last year.

Whakatane's Mahina Paul was one of the 11 scholarship recipients from around New Zealand who were named for personal mentoring and financial support.


Paul is the youngest of seven siblings and was last year selected for the New Zealand Women's Touch Blacks Squad.

Her main goal for this year is to make the New Zealand Under 18 Women's Team to compete at the Touch World Cup 2018 and then to make the New Zealand Open Women's Team Touch Blacks team to compete at the Touch World Cup 2019 being held in Malaysia.

Foundation founder and Tania Dalton's husband Duane Dalton said the programme would provide financial, mentorship, and personal development support to young women from challenging circumstances to unlock their talent and enable them to live their biggest life.

"Through our incredible mentors, who were all in some way connected to T, we have created a pastoral blanket to guide these young women through an important transition out of school and beyond.

"One of the main goals of the programme is for these young women to then contribute back to their communities and continue the legacy for future generations – and that's something we're really excited about."

Dalton said the support from the mentors, scholarship sponsors and the community was testament to the incredible person that Tania was.

"Even more than her sporting success, Tania will be remembered for how she lived every day. She lived as we might all strive for – never on the sideline, always in the action, bringing her A game as standard… with a big heart and an easy smile, sucking the juice out of life.

"Helping young people was a passion of Tania's and through the work of the foundation, we have the ability to honour her memory in a way she would have been proud of. The foundation strives to make a real impact and the calibre of young women selected is extremely high – not just in terms of ability, but also in the potential to really help these girls.

"Tania would be bursting with pride," he said.

The recipients are involved with sports that Tania Dalton and her family had a strong bond with including netball, tennis, touch, surf lifesaving, basketball and rugby.

Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship recipients:

1.Name:Isa Norman-Bell
Sporting Code:Touch Rugby; Rugby
Region:Epsom, Auckland

2.Name:Mahina Paul
Sporting Code:Touch Rugby; Rugby

3.Name:Holly Stewart
Sporting Code:Tennis
Region:Half Moon Bay, Auckland

4.Name:Lucy Makaea
Sporting Code:Surf Life Saving
Region:Henderson, Auckland

5.Name:Samalulu Clifton
Sporting Code:Surf Life Saving
Region:Grey Lynn, Auckland
6.Name:Dhys Faleafaga
Sporting Code:Rugby

7.Name:Renee Holmes
Sporting Code:Rugby

8.Name:Ainsleyana Puleiata
Sporting Code:Netball

9.Name:Theresa Ngata
Sporting Code:Netball
Region:Papatoetoe, Auckland

10.Name:Leah Mafua
Sporting Code:Basketball

11.Name:Sharne Pupuke-Robati
Sporting Code:Basketball
Region:Otahuhu, Auckland