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Rio Olympic hopefuls are among a group of more than 40 University of Queensland students who have received 2016 UQ Sporting Scholarships.

Back row, left to right: Dane Bird-Smith (athletics – race walking), Clara Smith (athletics – race walking), Brenden Hall (swimming). Front row, left to right: Gabrielle Simpson (netball), Kobie Donovan (athletics – shot put/javelin)

Beneficiaries include Paralympic gold medallist Brenden Hall, and Australian and state-level athletes representing 18 sports.

UQ Sport chief executive Bryan Pryde said the UQ Sporting Scholarship program provided financial assistance and academic support to help student-athletes balance studies with the demands of elite-level sport.

“As well as dedicated support through the UQ Sport Academy and free access to all our health and fitness facilities, recipients benefit from academic liaison and support, tutoring and athlete workshops,” he said.

“These outstanding individuals, made up of current champions and tomorrow’s stars, were chosen from a field of hundreds of top-level sportsmen and women.

“We look forward to working with these students on their exciting journey ahead.”

Rio-bound Olympic race walker Dane Bird-Smith said his UQ Sports Achievement Scholarship had been vital in preparing for his maiden Olympics.

“UQ Sporting Scholarships are more than a financial leg-up – they provide invaluable support when balancing sport and study becomes challenging,” he said.

“Leading into my first Olympic Games, I feel confident I can keep my degree on-track without performances being impacted on the road to Rio.”

Chair of UQ’s Sports Achievement Scholarship Committee Dr Philip Bodman said elite student-athletes were ideal representatives for the University.

“Elite student-athletes juggle study and other significant commitments on their time and resources, so they are great role models for all students,” he said.

“This year’s group joins a long, prestigious list of UQ elite student-athletes, who are either still studying with us, or who we are proud to call our alumni.”

Ten athletes, including rhythmic gymnast and Olympic-hopeful Danielle Prince were awarded Clem Jones Sporting Scholarships, funded by an annual donation from The Clem Jones Foundation.

Chair of the Clem Jones Sporting Scholarship Committee Professor Andrew Cresswell said it was pleasing that a large number of athletes were represented.

“The late Clem Jones AO had a particular interest in tennis and cricket, and I know he would be pleased to see the outstanding performances of this year’s winners across a broad range of sports,” he said.

“On behalf the committee, I wish all the scholarship winners the very best with their sporting and academic endeavours.”

Media: Jamie Mitchell, UQ Sport, JamieM@uqsport.com.au, 0423 785 752.


Nate Dennis (AFL) – B. Engineering (Hons)/B. Biotechnology

Jonathan Macanawai (AFL) – B. Health, Sport & Physical Education

Nikola Bojic (Athletics – High Jump) – B. Health, Sport & Physical Education

Brandon Herrigan (Athletics – Hurdles) – B. Regional & Town Planning

Kirra Womersley (Athletics – Hurdles & 100m/200m) – B. Health, Sport & Physical Education

Clara Smith (Athletics – Race Walking) – B. Engineering (Honours)

Dane Bird-Smith (Athletics – Race Walking) – B. Health, Sport & Physical Education

Kobie Donovan (Athletics – Shot Put/ Javelin) – B. Health, Sport & Physical Education (Honours)

Maddison Keeney (Diving) – B. Science

Isabella Wilkinson-McIntyre (Equestrian) – B. Economics/ B. Commerce

Jamie Young (Football) – B. Health Sciences

Oliver Crane (Hockey) – B. Business Management

Hannah Astbury (Hockey) – B. Arts

Megan Williams (Mountain Biking) – B. Commerce

Tara Hinchliffe (Netball) – B. Psychological Science (Honours)

Maddison Hinchliffe (Netball) – B. Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Annabella Sorby (Netball) – B. Science

Gabrielle Simpson (Netball) – B. Physiotherapy (Honours)

Laura Clemesha (Netball) – B. Psychological Science

Kimberley Jenner (Netball) – B. Health, Sport & Physical Education

Caitlin Cronin (Rowing) – B. Engineering (Chemical)

Blaine Heseltine (Rowing) – B. Engineering (Electrical)

Jordan Lenac (Rugby Union) – B. International Hotel & Tourism Management

Samuel Wallis (Rugby Union) – B. Arts

Harry Hockings (Rugby Union) – B. Commerce

Jacob Williams (Rugby Union) – B. Business Management /B. Arts

James MacMillan (Rugby Union) – B. Business Management

Angus Galloway (Sailing) – B. Business Management

Brenden Hall (Swimming) – B. Exercise & Sport Sciences

Gabriella Palm (Water Polo) – B. Arts

Kieran Mulcahy (Water Polo) – B. International Studies

Lara O’Brien (Windsurfing) – B. Health, Sport & Physical Education

2016 SPORTS ACHIEVEMENT SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS (value is from $3000 to $9000 for one year):

Breanna Koenen (AFL) – B. Physiotherapy

Mia Cunningham (Athletics – Javelin) – B. Exercise & Nutrition Sciences

Shauna Herbst (Athletics – Long/Triple Jump) – B. Biomedical Science

Joshua Wigginton (Cricket) – B. Physiotherapy (Honours)

Daniel Cranitch (Cricket) – B. Business Management/B. Arts

Bronte Jackson (Fencing) – B. Arts

Chloe Litherland (Netball) – B. Health, Sport & Physical Education

Abigail Meafou (Netball) – B. Human Services

Danielle Prince (Rhythmic Gymnastics) – B. Health, Sport & Physical Education

Emily Haines (Volleyball) – B. Exercise & Sport Sciences