Celebrating over 11 years of partnership of Gold Heart Scholarship programme with Variety

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Variety – The Children’s Charity is honoured to recognise CMC Markets as one of its Principal Partners and a founding sponsor of its Gold Heart Scholarship programme. The programme, launched in 2007, is designed to help talented Kiwi kids reach their full potential and overcome personal challenges. Thanks to their commitment to the programme over 100 scholarships have been granted, enabling young people who are physically or financially challenged to fulfill their ambitions in the arts, sports or education. These future leaders, artists and sportspeople have had their dreams funded and have achieved success thanks to the vision of CMC Markets.

Please see further details below for some of the recipients of the 2018 Gold Heart Scholarship programme. CMC Markets have sponsored 13 recipients for 2018.

Meet this year’s Gold Heart Scholarship Recipients

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Crystal Cook - Kickboxing

Kickboxing is 15-year-old Crystal Cook’s passion, and her dedication to the sport has resulted in her being selected to compete in the Junior World Kickboxing Championships as part of the New Zealand team. The competition is set to be held in Italy this September.
Crystal has put a huge amount of time and effort into her training, even travelling from Kaiwaka to Auckland at least three times per week, in what is roundtrip of nearly 200kms, to train.
Crystal is a world champion in this sport for her age and weight, and has excelled in many sporting competitions, including winning gold at the Junior World Muay Thai Championships in 2013, followed by silver at the same event in 2016. 

 Without funding, Crystal would not be able to attend this year’s world champs and would miss out on her dream of competing.
Crystal, who has overcome many personal challenges in her life, one day hopes to open her own gym to teach others what she has learnt, with a focus on children who have a disability or are disadvantaged.

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Levi Popata - Education

Levi was awarded the Gold Heart Scholarship to cover his boarding costs at Whangarei Boys’ High School. 

This year he worked hard to get into the top stream and despite the difficulties with being in a new and unfamiliar class, he has continued to thrive.  He has said that this year has been the most academically challenging year for him, but he continues to strive towards his goal of achieving NCEA level 1 endorsed with Merit. 

He is well on his way with 4 excellence credits and 8 merit credits already gained. He has recently started studying Japanese and hopes to be close to fluent by year 13. 

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Chelsey Edwards - Swimming

With a dream of not only representing New Zealand as a swimmer in the Olympics, but of becoming ‘the best in the world’, Upper Hutt-based 16-year-old Chelsey Edwards, who is also a previous Gold Heart recipient, is as dedicated as can be to her sport. 

Having won the Hutt Valley Young Sportswoman of the Year accolade in 2017, broken some 30 Wellington records to-date and collected an impressive stash of gold, silver and bronze medals for local, national and international events, it is clear Chelsey has a bright future ahead as a competitive swimmer.
Chelsey trains some 18-20 hours per week and is now looking to compete more regularly at international competitions, however, this wouldn’t be possible without help from the Gold Heart Scholarship programme.

With her sights set on qualifying for the Junior Pan Pacific Games in Fiji this August and the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires this October, both of which are user-pays events, to name just a few, Chelsey looks to be well on her way to achieving her goal of representing New Zealand at the highest level.

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Phaeora Sims - Hockey

Having been selected to represent New Zealand for inline hockey to participate in the Federation Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) World Championships, 17-year-old Phaeora Sims is showing promising talent.
Phaeora, who only began competing seriously in 2014, will be travelling to Italy this July with the New Zealand Junior Women’s team, and will be using the funds received as part of the Gold Heart Scholarship programme to assist with flights, transport, accommodation, meals and uniform requirements. 

Phaeora tragically lost her step-father earlier this year, which has placed both emotional and financial stress on her family, and as inline hockey is not often funded in New Zealand, she is reliant on grants to see her dream of competing in Italy come to fruition. 

Phaeora’s school principal commends her hard work, perseverance and commitment to the sport, which has also seen her pick up several related accolades. 

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Ieuan Edwards - Swimming

A keen and committed swimmer, Ieuan Edwards has his sights set on competing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, followed by the 2024 Paralympic Games.
In a bid to reach these goals, 15-year-old Ieuan is looking to compete in the New Zealand Short Course Champs and the New Zealand Open, as well as attend development camps hosted by Para-swimming New Zealand and Selwyn Swim Club – each of which would not be possible without the Gold Heart Scholarship.
Ieuan is dedicated to the sport and has achieved many accolades as a swimmer. He holds one New Zealand record, has won medals at previous New Zealand Short Course Champs and New Zealand Open meets and is the joint holder of the 2015 Halberg Junior Disability Games Overall Best Athlete, to name just a few. 

Ieuan is determined to increase his performance and is currently striving to close the gap between his swim times and those of the current New Zealand swim team who are some five years older than him.
Ieuan prides himself on being a role model for younger disabled athletes and encourages them to challenge themselves both physically and mentally to do and be the best they can.

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Beth Reid - Softball & Baseball 

Beth Reid, a previous Gold Heart Scholar and softball/baseball athlete, has been selected to represent New Zealand in the U19 Canada Cup International Softball event to be held in Canada this July.
Beth is really looking forward to attending the competition as it will provide invaluable experience prior to the World Championships in 2019. 

Beth has had many successes in both softball and baseball, including most recently becoming the youngest player to make the Premier Women AFC series team.
At 16 years old, Beth holds two part-time jobs – babysitting and dog walking – and she also fundraises by selling second-hand goods at market stalls throughout New Zealand, however, she requires additional funding to ensure she can attend this year’s Canada Cup. 

She aspires to compete as part of the New Zealand Women’s Softball team in the 2020, 2024 and 2028 Olympics. 

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Celyn Edwards - Swimming

A successful and dedicated swimmer with a bright future ahead, 17-year-old Celyn Edwards is on track to reach his goal of representing New Zealand at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Celyn has an impressive record of swimming achievements under his belt, most recently having been selected to represent New Zealand at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Along with this, Celyn holds some 23 New Zealand records and one Oceania record, while he also represented the county at the 2017 Berlin IDM meet, the 2017 Australian Swimming Para Grand Prix and the 2018 Victoria Championships.
Celyn is also the 2015 joint holder of the Halberg Junior Disability Games Overall Best Athlete and the 2016 holder of the Halberg Junior Disability Games Overall Best Athlete and Best Male Swimmer. 

Celyn will be using his Gold Heart Scholarship to assist with his attendance at development camps, both provided by Para-swimming New Zealand and Selwyn Swim Club. He will also use the funds to assist with his attendance at upcoming meets both in New Zealand and overseas and all related equipment costs.
Celyn is determined to be the best he can in the pool and is inspired by being part of the movement that shows people living with a disability do not need to live their lives being defined by it. 

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Lovely Pulotu - Rugby

Lovely Pulotu has been playing rugby for some 10 years now and with a year-round schedule of touch, tag, sevens, 10’s rugby and 15’s rugby, not to mention the fact that she is also a qualified Auckland Rugby Referee, there’s no chance she will be stopping anytime soon.
In fact, 16-year-old Lovely has dreams of representing New Zealand in the women’s sevens team and competing in international tournaments such as the Olympics.
With immense support from her parents, Lovely is able to attend trainings and games throughout Auckland, however, she requires funding to assist with purchasing uniforms and other training equipment as well as numerous registration fees and travel costs for games hosted outside of Auckland.
Lovely has been commended by coaching staff for her dedication to the sport and always doing ‘that little bit extra’. In fact, with the right resources behind her, Auckland Rugby says Lovely has the potential to referee in its National Women’s competition, The Farmer Palmer Cup, in the next five years. 

Variety – the Children’s Charity has been privileged to partner with CMC Markets since we introduced our Variety Gold Heart Scholarship programme in 2007. 

Together we have helped over 100 talented Kiwi kids, reach their full potential and overcome personal challenges. It has been a thrill to watch many of these young people go on to succeed in their chosen field, whether it be the arts, sports or education. 

Variety is enormously grateful to CMC Markets for their continued support over the years. The opportunities they have provided to our young people have shaped many bright futures ahead. 

Lorraine Taylor , CEO Variety - the Children's Charity 

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