CHL Scholarships return for third year to support Launceston's disadvantaged youth

Success: Daniel Geale, Baden Riley, Jamyz Gelston, Madison Pennicott, Billy Aust and Steve Bevington.
Success: Daniel Geale, Baden Riley, Jamyz Gelston, Madison Pennicott, Billy Aust and Steve Bevington.

Four young Ravenswood and Rocherlea residents have been awarded a chance at the future they’ve been dreaming about.

At a ceremony on Saturday, they all received a Community Housing LTD Scholarship cash grant to help them achieve their sporting, education or artistic goals and set them up for a career.

Billy Aust, from Ravenswood, and Madison Pennicott, from Rocherlea, were both awarded $3500 to pursue their studies in education and sports.

Baden Riley, from Ravenswood, and Jamyz Gelston, from Rocherlea, recieved $1750 to help them achieve their goals of becoming a champion athlete and a full-time artist respectively.

Now in its third year, the CHL Scholarship Program focuses specifically on championing the careers of young Ravenswood, Rocherlea, Mayfield, Waverley and Mowbray residents aged between 12-18 who live in the community housing.

With the support of sporting greats including Ricky Ponting, Daniel Geale and Zane Littlejohn, the program aims to break down the financial barriers that can prevent young people from Launceston’s most disadvantaged suburbs from breaking the cycle of poverty.

Launceston’s own Daniel Geale and Zane Littlejohn attended the ceremony to present the scholarships to the four young recipients.

Geale said when he was 14-years-old and playing footy, boxing and tennis, his coach told him to pick a sport and stick to it, and he chose boxing.

“At that moment I thought, ‘I’m going to put everything into this, I know I’ve got the ability, I’ve got the support around me, so I’m going to … give it everything I’ve got. Once I did that, it made a big difference,” he said.

CHL managing director Steve Bevington said it was particularly encouraging to see artistic and creative youths such as 15-year-old Jamyz Gelston being supported.

He said the scholarship fund is now fully self-supporting with active participation from the communities it supported, and the previous recipients were all still working or studying in their chosen fields.