A couple of hometown heroes were used to recognise the efforts of youth from the Northern Suburbs at UTAS Stadium on Saturday morning.
Boxer Daniel Geale and Brisbane Lions AFL development coach Zane Littlejohn were on hand to acknowledge the recipients of this year’s Community Housing Tasmanian Scholarships.
Now in its fourth year, five scholarships totalling more than $17,000 were given to youth aged between 12-18.
The program aims to provide opportunities in the fields of arts, sports, hospitality and education.
Geale knows what it was like to grow up in the Northern Suburbs and have a sporting dream.
Originally from Rocherlea, he went on to become a unified middleweight champion, holding the IBF middleweight title from 2011 to 2013, and the WBA (Super) title in 2012.
He said the scholarships had the power to unlock the potential in the Northern Suburbs.
“It’s a good area, but it also can be a tough area,” he said.
“I was pretty goal-oriented when I was growing up here, but I had a lot of friends in the area who probably would have benefited from something like this.
“Some parts (of the area) have remained the same, but there is still a sense of community there.
“It’s just about giving these kids a chance.”
This year’s scholarships could assist in making another combat sports champion from the area.
Chanelle Baker, 14, has a black belt in karate and was among the recipients on Saturday.
The Brooks High School student was put forward for the scholarship by staff member at the Northern Suburbs Community Centre.
She said while her future was somewhat still undecided, the support meant a lot.
“I either want to become an artist, or continue with martial arts,” she said.
“The scholarship not only helps me financially, but also generally.
“I never thought I would receive something like this, so it feels pretty good that I have.”
CHL manages over 1100 social housing properties in Launceston on behalf of Housing Tasmania and has already awarded about $31,000 in scholarships to 11 young adults in the fields of sports, literature, education, hospitality, arts and drama since the program was initiated in 2015.