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Maddi Elliott

Variety: Helping young people achieve their full potential

Josephine Walsh

As a kid, did you want nothing more than to turn your burning love of sport into a career?

Perhaps, as a young person, you had a hunger to work in the arts world, or a passionate desire to teach others and shape the leaders of the future.

Regardless of what your dreams were as a young person, making them a reality is always going to be a challenge.

Sometimes, we grow out of our childhood desires and find other passions to pursue. But imagine if sickness, disability and disadvantage were the reasons that you abandoned your childhood dream job? What if the obstacles between you and your ambitions were countless, and just seemed too great to overcome?

Variety – the Children’s Charity NSW is urging people to nominate deserving young individuals for Variety’s Scholarship Program.

Awarded annually, Variety’s Scholarships enables young people in NSW and the ACT who are sick, live with a disability or who are disadvantaged to pursue their potential in sports, education or the arts.

The Variety’s Scholarship Program covers costs such as tuition, equipment, competition fees and courses up to the value of $5,000.

Scholarships are awarded to children with a range of different talents, from pianists to photographers, artists to cricketers. By giving practical equipment, programs and experiences, Variety helps children in need to overcome whatever obstacles they face and live life to the fullest.

Scholarship recipient Maddi Elliot OAM was born with right side cerebral palsy. Her life was changed by the support and opportunities that that her Variety Scholarship provided. 2015 Paralympic Swimmer of the Year, Maddi was supported by Variety to pay for her squad and competition fees, as well as travel to competitions.

She is an S8 classified swimmer, Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medalist and World Record holder. At the age of 13, she became the youngest Australian Paralympian to win a gold medal in London and most recently, she was awarded Swimming Australia’s 2015 Paralympic Swimmer of the Year.

Maddi Elliot feature2

“If it wasn’t for the help and support of Variety, Maddi would not be where she is today,” explains Maddi’s mum, Nikki Elliot.

“The ongoing financial support of the scholarship program has enabled Maddi to travel and compete interstate for swimming and has helped fund her coaching fees. Without this support, Maddi and I would struggle with the ongoing costs.”

Tam Johnston, CEO of Variety – the Children’s Charity NSW said, “Variety is thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to children who might otherwise not have the financial means to develop their skills and talent. If you know an exceptional child who could benefit from this support, now’s the time to apply.”

Who is eligible for a Variety scholarship?

  • Scholarships are awarded to children up to and including the age of 18.
  • Applicants must live in NSW or ACT and be Australian citizens or have permanent resident status.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a talent and a genuine need for assistance.

Applications are now open and can be made online until Friday October 30th, 2015.

Successful applicants will be announced in December 2015 and will be invited to attend an official presentation early in 2016.

Head to variety.org.au to nominate a young person you know, and stay in the know about other wonderful Variety initiatives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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Josephine Walsh

Jose Walsh loves A-line skirts, the arts, and all types of pasta. She moved to Canberra in 2011 to study at ANU, and follow her dream of working in a museum. With an education background, she's currently harnessing her love of connecting people in a social media and PR role in a national institution. She loves great film, rambling about her succulents, and finding the perfect spot to share with her favourite people. More about the Author

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