SEVERAL of the 72 athletes receiving Tasmanian Institute of Sport scholarships yesterday did so with one eye on the other side of the world.
Among the recipients were javelin thrower Hamish Peacock, track cyclist Amy Cure, hockey player Eddie Ockenden, lawn bowler Rebecca Van Asch and weightlifter Jenna Myers, who are among those harbouring hopes of representing Australia at next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Nine of the recipients have already represented Australia at Olympic and Paralympic games _ Ockenden and Cure along with sailor Matt Bugg, boxer Jackson Woods, cyclist Matthew Goss, hockey player Tim Deavin and rowers Kerry Hore, Tom Gibson and Sam Beltz, who becomes the institute's longest-serving scholarship holder, having been supported since 1999.
All three rowers are returning to the fold after taking a year off following the London Olympics.
Athletes from 12 sports were acknowledged, 42 male and 30 female, aged from 16 to 33, including 21 first-time scholarship recipients.
Regionally, 42 were from the South, 21 from the North and nine from the North-West.
This is the 28th year the TIS has provided support to talented Tasmanian athletes in the form of elite coaching, sports science and technical analysis, strength and conditioning coaching, equipment, national and international training and competition experiences, career and education advice and financial support.
Leg 1In addition to the scholarship program, the TIS supports emerging talent squad programs in hockey, cycling and rowing exposing more than 70 athletes to specialist coaching and support.
The TIS will also have partnership programs with Swimming Tasmania and Football Federation Tasmania plus associate scholarships with professional athletes including cyclists Goss, Richie Porte and Cameron Wurf, who can call upon daily training support when in the state.
Sports Minister Michelle O'Byrne, who said the Tasmanian Government contributed $2.22 million to the TIS in 2013, also announced that the latest inductions to the TIS Champions Club were rowers Anthony Edwards and Dana Faletic, cyclist Belinda Goss and hockey player David Guest.
``Supporting our sporting champions also encourages participation in sport and physical activity, which develops healthier individuals and stronger communities,'' Ms O'Byrne said.