Cyclist Graeme Frislie and skateboarder Brad Saunders have become the first FedUni WestVic Academy of Sport athletes to be given scholarships with the Victorian Institute of Sport.
Frislie, a student at Bacchus Marsh Grammar, has been awarded a tier one Sports Program Scholarship, while Saunders, who attends Beaufort Secondary College, won a Future Talent Program Scholarship.
The 16-year-old Frislie said it was a surprise to be given a VIS scholarship.
“There was only two people my age in the state that got scholarships, so it was a real honour,” he said.
Frislie said he enjoyed a great 2017 on the track and hoped next year would bring more success.
Earlier this year, he won three gold medals at the National Junior Track Championships in the 500m time trial, sprint and team pursuit events.
“I’ve got nationals coming up in Feburary in Brisbane and I’ll be in the under-19 ranks this year. That will be a real step up,” he said.
Saunders said that 2017 had probably been his best year in terms of competition results.
Among his highlights was victory in the Best Foot Forward Australian qualifier before heading over to the United States for the finals, where he also won.
“Basically, what I want to do is turn professional for skateboard,” Saunders, who rates the street discipline of skateboarding as his preferred style, said.
VIS scholarships provide athletes with access to advanced coaching, sport science and sports medicine services, career and education advice, and training and competition support.
FedUni WestVic Academy of Sport executive officer Corey Saitta was thrilled by the scholarship announcements.
“We are not surprised by these results,” Saitta said.
“Rather, they reinforce the value of the work undertaken by many since the academy was formed, the quality of the people that have been or continue to be involved, the overarching philosophy of the academy, the strength of our systems and the type of athlete services we offer.”