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Pinnacle Foundation launches new sports scholarship for aspiring LGBTI athletes - Australia Gay News Network

15 September 2015 | glrfcentral
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Young LGBTI athletes can benefit from a new national sports scholarship by the Pinnacle Foundation. The Pinnacle Foundation is a national charity that provides scholarships and mentors to disadvantaged LGBTI youth. From 2016, the charity will launch The Pippa Downes Pinnacle Scholarship, for any athlete competing or training at national level and aspiring to represent Australia while also doing full-time study in any discipline.

The Pinnacle Foundation chairman Sean Linkson said the scholarship is the first of its kind to help aspiring LGBTI athlete.

“The scheme will not only help provide the financial means to help kick-start the career paths of many young and talented students, but we will also provide a mentor who shares the scholar’s sexual or gender identity, location and ambition in academic and sporting endeavours,” Linkson said.

The scholarship is named after Pippa Downes, a Cornerstone benefactor and Board member of The Pinnacle Foundation.

Downes has a Master’s in Applied Finance from Macquarie University and Bachelor of Science (Business Administration) from University of California, Berkeley.

She was previously an appointed Independent Director on the Board of Swimming Australia and the Swimming Australia Foundation until December 2011.

Pippa is also a keen sportsperson being a former member of the Australian Swim Team and has represented Hong Kong at the International Rugby Sevens.

“I know first-hand how difficult it is to manage dual commitments to academic studies and sport,” Downes said.

“The financial strain is considerable and acts as a real impediment to achieving your goals.

“My involvement with the Pinnacle Foundation has shown me how transformational this support can be on young lives.”



The Pippa Downes Scholarship will be provided for 16-24 year old LGBTIQ students who desire to undertake full-time education at a public institution of higher education in Australia, while at the same time pursuing athletic or sporting excellence. It will be for the purpose of gaining an educational qualification in any profession or the arts.



Scholarships will be granted for a period of one year and a scholar’s application form needs to be submitted by 1 October each year. This scholarship provides for $5,000 for first year of tertiary studies and $3000 for subsequent years (subject to specific conditions).



Applications are now open for the 2016 scholarship program and students can apply via the Pinnacle Foundation website: www.thepinnaclefoundation.org . Application close 1 October 2015.


Author Reg Domingo


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