Scholarship support for female Tasmanian coaches

Raising the bar: Minister for Sport Jacquie Petrusma with coaches Wenonah Sharman and Janelle Smith and acting Tasmanian Institute of Sport director Stewart Pither. Picture: Paul Scambler
Raising the bar: Minister for Sport Jacquie Petrusma with coaches Wenonah Sharman and Janelle Smith and acting Tasmanian Institute of Sport director Stewart Pither. Picture: Paul Scambler

Tasmania’s best young runners and cyclists stand to benefit from two inaugural scholarships handed out to Northern Tasmanian coaches.

Janelle Smith and Wenonah Sharman said the State Government’s women in sport scholarships, valued at $5000 each, will be used to help provide young athletes with what they require to progress to the next level.

Both coaches are targeting national junior events in Queensland with the Australian cross-country titles to be held on the Sunshine Coast followed by track cycling titles in Brisbane.

Smith is a Launceston-based level 2 road and track coach. As state junior track coach, she oversees about 10 cyclists and recently returned from a high performance training camp in Adelaide.

“For me it’s about helping riders achieve the requirements for state selection to track nationals early next year,” said Smith, who is also a former WNBL basketballer and State League netballer.

Sharman, of Hawley Beach, is an accredited exercise physiologist with university qualifications in psychology as well as being a level 2 accredited Athletics Australia coach.

She is also the state junior distance coach for the targeted talent program for which athletes need to be ranked in the top six nationally.

“This gives me an opportunity to upskill, learn more from coaches like Susan Andrews and just become a better coach myself,” she said.

“The aim is to provide options locally so kids do not have to move away to progress.”

Presented by the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and Sports Minister Jacquie Petrusma, the scholarships provide financial and mentoring support to develop an individual’s coaching capability, leadership skills and valuable national experience.