Three athletes aiming for Tokyo 2020 and another set to run out for the West Coast Eagles in their inaugural AFLW season have been selected for the 2019-20 VenuesWest Brand Ambassador program.
- State-owned venue owner VenuesWest's Brand Ambassadors program supporting four WA athletes
- Three 2019-20 'Brand Ambassadors' aiming for Tokyo 2020 selection, and one competing in West Coast Eagles' inaugural AFLW season
- Athletes receive $5,000 to pursue their sporting dreams
Now in its third year, the program provides $5,000 support to four Western Australian athletes who use VenuesWest facilities, to help them pursue their sporting goals.
This year's recipients are: Zoe Arancini (Water Polo); Nicholas Brown (Swimming); Sally Pilbeam (Para Triathlon); and Alicia Janz (AFLW).
The majority of non-professional athletes who train and compete at VenuesWest facilities are studying or working part-time, and this direct support assists with the costs of pursuing an elite sporting career.
The State Government venue-owner also directly supports many of WA's high-performance athletes by injecting $3 million a year funding into elite sport, and providing 13 quality local venues for athletes striving to compete on the world stage.
The 2019-20 Brand Ambassadors are:
Zoe Arancini – Water Polo
Zoe is a long-time member of the Australian Womens Water Polo team, having first represented her country in 2009 and competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She is a multiple medallist at FINA World Championship events. Zoe has her sights set firmly on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Zoe competes at HBF Stadium and trains at the WAIS High Performance Service Centre.
Nicholas Brown - Swimming
Nicholas is a butterfly specialist and is currently competing in the FINA World Cup in Tokyo. Nic trains at HBF Stadium and the WAIS High performance Service Centre. Nic joined the Australian Dolphins team for the world short Course Championships in China in December last year. Nic is striving towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Nic trains and competes at HBF Stadium and trains at the WAIS High Performance Service Centre.
Sally Pilbeam – Para Triathlon
Sally is a two-time para-triathlon world champion and is preparing to compete in her sixth consecutive world championship. She has won the Para Triathlon Oceania Championships six times. With Sally's category not included in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Sally will compete in a higher category in a bid to make the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games team. Sally trains at HBF Arena, HBF Stadium, WA Athletics Stadium and WAIS High Performance Service Centre. She competes at Champion Lakes Regatta Centre.
Alicia is a true sportsperson, having played for West Coat Fever, Fremantle Football Club and now West Coast Eagles. She played in the record breaking AFLW match at Optus Stadium in 2018 and will soon commence pre-season training for the 2020 AFLW season. Alicia is a proud Torres Strait Islander and shares her love of sport with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls through her work with Wirrpanda Foundation. Alicia has trained at the State Netball Centre and competed at RAC Arena and Optus Stadium.
Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
"VenuesWest supports WA sport in so many ways – injecting $3 million a year into elite sport from its operations, and providing quality training and competition facilities for so many of the State's future champions.
"This program provides even more direct support to our athletes as they strive to reach the highest levels.
"The vast majority of athletes - including Olympians - are not on big salaries and have to sacrifice a lot to compete against the world's best in their sport.
"This direct funding allocation ensures these four future champions have more support as they seek to compete on behalf of their State and their country.
"These four outstanding athletes will also provide younger visitors to VenuesWest venues with an understanding of the power of hard work and determination in pursuing sporting goals."