Celebrating 10 years of partnership and a founding sponsor 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 45 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.


Meet this year’s Gold Heart Scholarship Recipients

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Grace Jale - Football

Grace is thrilled to be a scholarship recipient again this year. She has shown incredible commitment to her sport and continues to train and compete on a daily basis while managing her studies.
Grace’s 2015 football highlight was being selected to go with the Football Ferns to Brazil for two games in preparation for the Rio Olympics. She also went to Tonga with the U20s for the Oceania World Cup Qualifiers which they were successful in.

Grace won the Mount Albert Grammar School’s most promising player award and was nominated as a finalist in the ASB Sports Awards. She also received the Golden Boot award for the Eastern Suburbs Club in the Women’s Premier Team and was named player of the year.
This year Grace is looking forward to the U17s and U20s World Cup, one in Jordan and one in Papua New Guinea.  

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Ngawiri Pio - Swimming

Ngawiri is a young and dedicated swimmer who is brimming with potential. Ngawiri was unable to train with his swim club last year due to lack of funding. Despite this, he was able to compete at the National Age Group Swimming Championships last year and place better than competitors who had been training up to 9 times per week. 

Ngawiri’s swim coach says that he is capable of becoming a National Gold Medalist. The scholarship will provide him with the funds to adequately train toward his goal. With the help of his extended family and the Auckland Grammar School InZone Project, Ngawiri has recently relocated to Auckland from Kaitaia so that he can have access to more training and resources. His ultimate goal is to go to the Olympics and continue a career in sports or coaching.

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Miranda Hodgson - Touch Rugby

 Miranda is a top touch rugby player who has also shown skill for many other sports. She has recently been selected for the New Zealand Under 18 Mixed Touch Squad and hopes to eventually represent New Zealand with the Open Mixed Touch team travelling to the World Cup in 2019. She is also a hopeful candidate for the 2020 Olympic games as a Women’s Sevens player.

In October 2015 Miranda was able to travel to the Gold Coast as part of the New Zealand Under 17 Mixed Touch team. They played 15 games against Australia’s top secondary school teams and were undefeated. Miranda was honoured to be named female MVP of the team.

Miranda says that thanks to the Gold Heart Scholarship programme, a sense of hard work and dedication has been ignited in her—“not only to achieve in a sporting capacity but to also succeed academically and personally.” Miranda gained a Certificate of Academic Excellence for her NCEA results in 2015 and was named 1st in Year 12 at Paeroa College.  

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Callahan Laird - Dancing

15 year old Callahan has been dancing for ten years and currently takes eight dance classes a week. His ambition in life is to dance for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and he is well on his way to doing so!

He is currently working toward becoming a full time student at New Zealand School of Dance at which he was accepted onto the National Scholars Programme for noticeably talented ballet dancers. There he receives a level of training which is not available anywhere else in the country.   His Dance teacher describes Callahan as a “breath of fresh air in class” and says he has an excellent work ethic. His passion for dance is evident in his performance and he is a role model to his peers. 

Callahan was recently accepted to the Royal New Zealand Ballet Mentor Programme which has provided a male mentor and the opportunity to take Master classes at the Royal NZ Ballet--a giant step closer toward achieving his dream!

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Ka Hee Cook - Violin/Viola

Ka Hee is a talented 15 year old violinist whose passion for music continues to grow. She was able to use last year’s scholarship to get steady music lessons which has helped her to improve dramatically. She would now like to buy a new instrument that matches her level of skill and continue with her music lessons. 

Ka Hee also plays the viola, oboe, flute, and cello. However her sole focus is on the violin/viola. Ka Hee enjoys using her musical talents to encourage others. She enjoys playing with the String Chamber Orchestra and Epsom Girls’ Grammar School Orchestra in which she serves as principal of the viola section. Her music teacher says that she displays exceptional ability in music and is playing at a level that is far beyond her years.  She is generous with her time, helping others in mastering difficulties and improving skills. Ka Hee’s hard work and dedication ensure a bright future for her.

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Chey Kahika - Rugby

Chey is a 13 year old aspiring All Black who has been given the opportunity to travel to the Gold Coast for participation in a rugby tour.

 Chey is described as a confident, caring, respectful and hardworking young man who has received many trophies and accolades over the years. He is seen as a leader not only by his peers but by his teachers and wider community as well. He gives 100% to everything that he does and always strives for excellence. 

Chey’s passion and energy for rugby are obvious and his coach says he is a natural talent. Chey has a quiet demeanour but a sharp mind that absorbs and adapts very quickly. His coach believes that this scholarship will help him “fulfil his immense and untapped potential.”

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Henare Cherrington - Swimming

14 year old Henare has been swimming with Nga Papahu Swim Club since he was 5 years old and has been competing since he was 8. He has qualified to participate in many national competitions and hopes to continue to further his career by moving to a new school in either Auckland or Cambridge from Kaitaia. This will give him access to the best swimming clubs and training in the country which he says is a dream come true. 

Henare is grateful for the support he receives because he would not be able to reach his full potential without the financial aid. He says that this scholarship is an investment in his passion for swimming but also in his future as he intends to represent New Zealand at the Olympics one day.  

Tamati Elliott - Rugby

Tamati is a talented rugby player who was selected for a special rugby tour to the Gold Coast with his U14 team. Tamati has experienced many challenges in life but hasn’t let this stop him from excelling both academically and athletically.

​Tamati was Senior Boys’ Sports Champion in primary school and was the captain of his rugby team. He remains a leader and a role model at Rotorua Boy’s High School. Tamati provides voluntary guidance to those in need during his breaks and lunches at school. He is a motivated and talented student who has demonstrated devotion and resilience.

His coaches say that he has a lot of potential and this scholarship will give him more and more opportunities to excel beginning with his selection for the 2015 Roller Mills Squad.


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 27 talented Kiwi kids, many over multiple years, 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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