Sporting talent rewarded

Local rower Ben Kirsop is grateful for the trust’s ongoing support.

The Perago Trust, a Cambridge organisation supporting local athletes to reach elite level, announced the recipients of their biannual funding round last month – Ellesse Andrews, Ben Kirsop, Jordan Woodall and Sam Cooke – receiving a combined total of $11,500 to go toward their sporting pursuits.

Ken “Jake” Moreland, Chairman on the Perago Trust, said it had been a difficult selection process.

“A lot of these kids are great kids, Cambridge has so many talented young sports people,” Moreland said. “We thought that they all showed great promise, they’re all making enormous sacrifices for their sport.

“They’re working towards becoming professional athletes, and a lot of these sports can be quite demanding, they can’t or can only work jobs in bits and pieces… so we’re there to try and bridge that gap for them and help them reach their goals.”

Cambridge athletes are among the 93 recipients who have been supported by the Perago Trust in reaching the world sporting stage since its inception in 2013.

With top-level athletes moving to Cambridge for its sports performance hubs, rubbing shoulders with the town’s homegrown talents, Moreland said the Trust still keeps its focus on athletes who are from Cambridge, have strong links to Cambridge or are laying their roots here.

Ben Kirsop, a recent recipient and Cambridge High School grad, said the support he had received since 2015 had made all the difference in making it onto Kiwi rowing crews and competing on the world stage.

“It’s seriously very helpful, I don’t think I would be where I am today without their support,” said Ben. “Being an unfunded athlete, anything really does help.”

The under 21 Trans-Tasman 8’s gold medallist, who works part-time for Karapiro Rowing Inc, looks forward to being able to spend more time rowing and hopes to make it onto the U23 quad team once again, taking part in the World Champs in Poland next year.

Perago Chairman Jake Moreland said the organisation welcomed donations and support from the community. More information can be found at their website, www.peragotrust.org.nz.

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