Sports

Willcox, Macaulay selected for WAIS scholarships

Willcox, Macaulay selected for WAIS scholarships

  • Margaret River's Jacob Willcox is one of two local surfers who have been selected for coveted scholarships with the WA Institute of Sport. Photo WSL/Cestari

  • Gracetown surfer Bronte Macaulay will also take part in the WAIS program. Photo WSL Dunbar

    Gracetown surfer Bronte Macaulay will also take part in the WAIS program. Photo WSL Dunbar

For the first time, two West Australian surfers have been awarded Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) Individual Athlete Scholarship Program Scholarship thanks to a new and exciting partnership between Surfing WA and WAIS.

WAIS scholarships were awarded to World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) surfer Bronte Macaulay from Gracetown and WSL Qualifying Series (QS) surfer Jacob Willcox from Margaret River who both submitted strong applications.

Surfing WA CEO Mark Lane congratulated Bronte and Jacob and said the partnership with WAIS is great news for rising and professional surfers.

“This partnership creates opportunities for the State’s best surfers to be provided with first class elite athlete support to help them to achieve their goals,” Mr Lane said.

“WA’s surf athletes already have access to Surfing WA’s high performance coaching program and now they also have the opportunity to access experts and facilities that WAIS offers other elite athletes.”

WAIS Performance Director Teagan Colgan said WAIS provides services and support to the State’s high performing athletes competing in sports that are on the current Olympic or Commonwealth Games Pathway.

If competing in Tokyo 2020 representing Australia is an option, I'll definitely be going for it!

Bronte Macaulay

“Given surfing is confirmed as a sport at Toyko 2020, both Bronte and Jacob were able to apply and now be a part of the Individual Athlete Scholarship Program,” Ms Colgan said.

“Both Bronte and Jacob will have access to industry leading clinical and performance service providers such as biomechanics, physiology, strength, conditioning, nutritionist, athlete career and education, performance psychology as well as world-class facilities and funding opportunities – essentially value-adding to what each athlete already has in place,” Ms Colgan said.

“They both demonstrated exceptional results in World Qualifying Series events; these results clearly put both athletes in contention for Olympic Games selection.

“In addition, both athletes have been meticulous in their performance planning which shows WAIS that they are capable of putting together a process to develop into Olympic medal-winning athletes.

“Both athletes were also assessed as adding great value to their local community environments as much as a high performing athlete is able.

“This is an important aspect, as athletes are athletes for only a period in their life. WAIS encourages and provides service provision for athletes to have a well balanced athlete life by developing the skills necessary to transition into life after being an athlete.”

Bronte Macaulay said it was awesome that surf athletes can now have the same support as other elite athletes.

“I’m still finding out about what I can access as part of the WAIS scholarship but it’s exciting to know there are experts available to add insight and support in different areas,” said the 23-year- old WSL CT surfer, WA’s only top tier competitor.

“I’m keen to make the most of the opportunity and if competing in Tokyo 2020 representing Australia is an option, I'll definitely be going for it! It’s a terrific initiative by Surfing WA and I’d like to thank them for their support.”

Jacob Willcox, 20, congratulated Surfing WA on the initiative said he was looking forward to see what WAIS has on offer.

“It’s pretty cool, I’m stoked actually. It’s a good pathway for surfers and for surfing to make it a bigger sport. Surfers have never been offered opportunities like this before, so it’s great,” said the WSL QS surfer and winner of two previous WA Trials at the Margaret River Pro.

The Drug Aware WA Trials prelude the Margaret River Pro on 10 April 2018 and provide an unparalleled opportunity for local surfers to compete against the world’s best; the winner of the WA Trials is given a wildcard entry into the Pro.

This year is the 33rd edition of the Margaret River Pro held from 11 to 22 April 2018 at Surfers Point with competition taking place on waves at Main Break, The Box and North Point depending on conditions.

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