Assistance packages to help three West Aussies on the road to Paris

VenuesWest has strengthened its support of High Performance sport by awarding assistance packages to three WA-based athletes as they make their final push for selection at the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

VenuesWest has strengthened its support of High Performance sport by awarding assistance packages to three WA-based athletes as they make their final push for selection at the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Anneli Maley (3x3 Basketball), Kane Perris (Para Tandem Track Cycling) and Sally Pilbeam (Para Triathlon) will all receive grants of $2,000 to help alleviate the financial pressures of balancing their lives as elite athletes. 

Maley is all but assured a ticket to Paris as part of Australia’s first 3x3 women’s basketball Olympic team. Known as the Gangurrus, Australia qualified on the back of winning the FIBA Olympic Qualifiers in Japan. 

The Perth Lynx captain trains and plays at Bendat Basketball Centre, as well as additional training at the WAIS High Performance Centre using the gym and half court. 

Anneli Maley competing for the Australia Gangurrus

Pilbeam, a former VenuesWest brand ambassador, is currently ranked fifth in the world in her classification (PTS4), with the top 10 earning a spot at the Paralympic Games. 

She is a two-time World Triathlon Champion in 2014 and 2015 who lost her right arm to cancer in 2002. This is the first time Pilbeam has had her classification (PTS4) represented at the Paralympic Games. 

Pilbeam trains at the WAIS High Performance Centre and at the pools at HBF Stadium, as well as competing at Champion Lakes Regatta Centre. 

Sally Pilbeam

Perris is one half of a tandem track cycling duo with Luke Zaccaria. A visually impaired cyclist, Perris impressed at the 2024 Para National Championships with Zaccaria, setting a national record in the Team Sprint and achieving a World Championship and Paralympic qualifying time in the 1km time trial.  

He trains and competes at VenuesWest’s SpeedDome, while also training at the WAIS High Performance Centre. 

Kane Perris (rear) with Luke Zaccaria

Perris said the grant would have a significant impact on his potential Paralympic bid. 

"Thanks to VenuesWest, a significant part of the funds will help improve our tandem bike and my personal kit, directly impacting our performance on the track. This includes upgrading wheels, handlebars, skinsuits, and custom-made shoes," Perris said. 

"Investing in top-quality equipment allows me to perform at my best and stay competitive against elite athletes in my sport. The grant will also help offset the financial burden of reducing my work hours to prioritise training. This means I can dedicate more time and energy to training and recovery, ultimately improving my chances of representing Australia at the Paralympic Games." 

A mother of two, Pilbeam said the money would help her final push for selection. 

"I will be racing in Montreal at the end of June to solidify my ranking and hopefully secure my selection. This will be followed by a training camp in Spain, which previously helped me earn a bronze medal at the World Championships," Pilbeam said. 

"The funding from VenuesWest will significantly alleviate the cost of this training camp, allowing me to focus on performing at my very best in Paris." 

Maley said she was motivated to help create history for Australia in 3x3 basketball. 

"The funding makes a massive difference as it allows me to dedicate more time to my training," Maley said. 

"Being part of the first-ever women's 3x3 Australian team to qualify for the Olympics is incredibly motivating. This support means I can prepare and train harder than ever before. It means the world to receive this funding." 

VenuesWest CEO David Etherton expressed his pride in supporting these athletes on their journey to the Paris Olympics and Paralympics. 

"VenuesWest is committed to fostering an environment at our venues where WA-based athletes can thrive,” Etherton said. 

"We are incredibly proud to support Anneli Maley, Kane Perris, and Sally Pilbeam as they strive for excellence on the world stage. By providing these assistance packages, we aim to alleviate some of the financial pressures they face, allowing them to focus on their training and preparation for Paris.  

“These grants are a testament to our ongoing commitment to supporting elite sport in WA. We wish Anneli, Kane and Sally all the best in the buildup and hopefully in their participation at the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games.”