Layne Beachley's Foundation Increases Grants Eleven London Olympic Games hopefuls are among 39 young women receiving a Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation grant in February.
The foundation has awarded its largest amount on record with a massive $70 000 going to girls and women from various sporting, environmental, educational and cultural pursuits. The girls were selected from several hundred applications received from around the country.
Grants are awarded to applicants who best demonstrated how financial and moral support would further their education or personal development and the community.
The grant recipients for 2012 range from acrobatic gymnastics, theatre, chronic Illness education, marine biology, motorsport, shoe making as well as aspiring London Olympians and disabled athletes.
The grants are categorised as individual, kick start, group, environmental, disabled, academic, Olympic hopefuls, encouragement and equipment grants.
Interview with Layne BeachleyQuestion: Can you explain what the Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation is?
Layne Beachley: Aim for the Stars Foundation is a foundation that I established in 2003 to ensure that the girls had the right amount of financial and moral support to achieve their dreams. The idea originated after I won my sixth consecutive World Title and I had the opportunity to reflect on what I had endured and the importance that certain individuals throughout my career had played in ensuring that I achieved my goals and I decided that I wanted to become one of those individuals in each of these girls lives.
Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation doesn't just focus on athletes, we focus on women and ensuring that females in all endeavors are given the support they need; we have a lot of athletes of course but we have musicians, scientists and girls pursing academic studies and environmental pursuits.
Question: How do you hope the grants will help the young female athletes?
Layne Beachley: I hope the grants relieve some of the stress and burden that is associated with securing enough financial support to pursue a dream and present them with the opportunity to not only achieve their goal early in life but to make it more enjoyable.
Question: Can you talk about the selection process for the grants?
Layne Beachley: The girls apply through the foundation website, the process is all electronic and then we print out all of the applications and myself and my board of directors read through all the applications and then based on what the girls say in the application letter determines how successful or unsuccessful they are in the application process. The girls really do have to sell me, in their letter, on what they are chasing, why they are chasing it and how the grant will assist them.
Question: You have provided a 2012 grant to a Winter Youth Olympic Medallist, Alexandra Fitch, Snowboarder. Can you talk about the importance of the encouragement grants for the aspiring for selection for 2012 London Olympics?
Layne Beachley: We have a category within the selection process for Olympic Hopefuls and what we are doing is providing potential Olympic Athletes with a little bit of extra funding to support their journey because now it is crunch time, for all of them, to be picked for the Olympic team.
Question: Can you provide your top five tips for being a successful female?
Layne Beachley: Everything I have learnt to become a world champion is very relevant and transcends from being an athlete to now either an entrepreneur or a successful individual.
Firstly it is important to have a very clear goal.
Then, surround yourself with a team of people that will help you achieve that goal.
Remaining honest with those people and honest with yourself as to where you are at.
Adapt to change because there are always going to be obstacles and challenges that present themselves to you, along the way, and you need to adapt to those and continue to change your ways or improve on what you're doing.
And of course, never give up! Stay focused on your goal, if it means that much to you then you'll work hard and as long as you don't give up on it, you will get there, eventually.
Question: What originally inspired you to begin surfing?
Layne Beachley: My dad was a surfer, my older brother was a surfer and I grew up on Manly Beach; it was a natural progression to go from the sand to the water. I was a skateboarder at the age of 3 and started surfing at the age of 4. Surfing was in my genetic makeup.
Question: Do you still surf, everyday?
Layne Beachley: I do try and surf every day, it is my intention to surf every day but I don't always achieve it.
Question: What has been your ultimate career highlight?
Layne Beachley: My ultimate career highlight was winning my first World Title and then backing it up six times consecutively and then going on to win a seventh World Title. Obviously all of the World Titles are career highlights; the accolades and attention that has come with that has been fantastic but then all of that has established such a wonderful platform for me to be able to give back at a very meaningful level and that is the highlight - the legacy I have created and the ability to give back.
Question: What do you do to relax?
Layne Beachley: Go for a surf (laughs) I actually do!
2012 Grant Recipients
Individual Grant Recipients:
Mikayla Barber (Trick Riding and Liberty Horse Performing)
Georgia Miansarow (Rowing)
Juliana Bahr-Thomson (Triathlon)
Carly Findlay (Public Speaking on living with chronic Illness)
Katie Beveridge (Women's Forum on Health & Wellbeing)
Fatumata Kennah (Shoe Making)
Shannon La-Vey (Social Work)
Kick-Start Grant Recipients:
Gracelyn Baird (Education and Gymnastics)
Caitlin Wood (Motorsport)
Eden Tarvit (Artistic Gymnastics)
Madison Coster (Kayaking)
Elodie Rosseau (Acrobatic Gymnastics)
Environmental Grant Recipients:
Linh Do (Environment/Sustainable Development)
Caitlin Newport (Marine Biology)
Athlete with a Disability Grant Recipients:
Kobie Donovan (Track & Field)
Nicole Harris (Alpine Skiing and Basketball)
Academic Grant Recipients:
Nadine Dimitrievitch (Theatre)
Louise Robinson (Career education in drug and alcohol support)
Group Grant Recipient:
Ingrid Dunkerley, Annelise Olsson and Melanie Byrne (Acrobatic Gymnastics)
Encouragement Grants for Elite Athletes aspiring for selection for 2012 London Olympics:
Hannah Davis (Sprint Kayaking)
Jody Henry (Athletics)
Chloe Hosking (Road Cycling)
Kelly McGrath (Boxing)
Jane Moran (Water Polo)
Tarren Otte (Synchronized Swimming)
Olivia Price (Sailing)
Anabelle Smith (Diving)
Nicky Souter (Sailing)
Hannah Thek (Diving)
Chloe Turner (Triathlon)
Encouragement Grant Recipients:
Lily Pollard (Body Boarding)
Alexandra Fitch (Snowboarding)
Meghan Rutledge (Motocross)
Amanda Fowler (Multi-Class Swimming)
Equipment Grant Recipients:
Tiannah List (Athletics)
Kayla Whinray (Marathon Canoeing)
Layne Beachley, the seven time world champion surfer says, "I am able to inspire and motivate women across Australia to dare to dream, pursue their passion and aspire to achieve.
"My support will give females the opportunity to maintain a determined focus on their goal, to achieve their dreams earlier in life. This will allow them to further their ambitions and aim for the stars."
Beachley is very proud of the opportunity to support women in their incredible personal endeavours.
Interview by Brooke Hunter