How the Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund supports young athletes to achieve their dreams

SESF recipients in a sports stadium


Posted March 14, 2024

RACV has gifted 20 scholarships to the Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund, and helping young, talented athletes who are facing barriers to achieve their dreams.

Did you know that one in 10 athletes selected to represent their state or country face financial barriers? Luckily, organisations like the Sports Excellent Scholarship Fund (SESF) are helping to break down these barriers for young athletes - but they need our help.

RACV gifted $20,000 to help 20 young athletes to compete in swimming, athletics, soccer, softball and taekwondo across Australia.

In total, 166 SESF scholarships were awarded across the country, including 54 scholarships given to Victorians. The scholarship recipients included 44 regional athletes, 19 remote athletes, 32 Indigenous athletes, and 20 athletes with a disability.

How the Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund helps young athletes

Since 2012, SESF has been helping emerging athletes to compete in their chosen sports despite financial hardship.

The athletes must be Australian school students aged 10 to 18 years old, whose financial circumstances would preclude them from otherwise competing at a state or national level.

Notable alumni include Bec Henderson, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics in the 20km race walk; Jack Howell, who has won five medals for Australia in international paratriathlon events; and Gabby Newton, who now plays elite level Australian Football for the Western Bulldogs.

Recipients receive a $1,000 scholarship, ongoing mentoring opportunities from former scholarship holders and SESF ambassadors, and an education program through an online Masterclass series.

Funded sports include everything from individual sports like BMX, swimming and surf lifesaving to team sports like basketball, baseball and hockey.


tennis racquet

Competing in state or national sports can be a financial challenge. Image: Getty

Costs to attend sports meets and competitions can be insurmountable without help for many families with young emerging athletes, especially when they take place on the other side of the country.

"I would like to thank the SESF for their generous support in giving me this scholarship," 2023 SESF scholarship recipient Jacob from Hobart College wrote to his donors. "My highlight of this meet was winning a silver medal in the 2k Steeple." Jacob's mother is a single parent on a Carer's allowance, who is the full-time carer of Jacob's grandmother.

Another athlete, Lily from Southern Christian College, wrote that she achieved a personal best in her race walking event. "Standing on the starting line, engaging in conversations with fellow athletes in the marshalling area is one of the memorable highlights in my experience...Thanks for supporting my mum and I with the finance." Lily's mum is a single stay-at-home parent, and Lily's brother has to regularly see an occupational therapist since being diagnosed with a medical condition.


tennis racquet

Sports equipment can be another large expense for Australian families. Image: Getty

How you can help the Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund

If you would like to support RACV Community Foundation, you can make a donation using the banking details as below. All donations over $2.00 are fully tax deductible.  If you would like a receipt for your donation, please email

Bank: NAB 
BSB: 083-001
Account Number: 40-970-8004
Account Name: RACV Community Foundation Receipts