Volleyball Australia Patron honoured by Australian Olympic Committee
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 10, 2014 – Leading West Australian businesswoman Gina Rinehart has been awarded the Australian Olympic Committee’s Order of Merit for her long standing involvement and support of volleyball and swimming.
Mrs. Rinehart, through the Georgina Hope Foundation, provides financial support direct to athletes from both sports. Announcing the award in Sydney, John Coates, the President of the Australian Olympic Committee, paid tribute to Mrs. Rinehart’s ongoing support of athletes.
“By providing athletes with direct financial support, Mrs. Rinehart is allowing them to focus on their training and performance and not be distracted by financial pressures that many athletes face,” he said. “Through the Foundation, Mrs Rinehart is instilling in the athletes the Olympic values and developing well-rounded individuals who are a credit to their sport and their country.”
Earlier this year, Mrs. Rinehart was appointed Patron of Volleyball Australia. It is the first time Volleyball Australia has appointed a Patron in addition to the Governor General.
Mrs. Rinehart first supported Volleyball Australia in 2013 through its Digging For Gold campaign, which is designed to attract the support of Australia’s leading resources companies.
The President of Volleyball Australia, Craig Carracher also paid tribute to the commitment made to his sport by Mrs. Rinehart.
“Mrs Rinehart’s commitment has already permitted the recruitment of our women’s volleyball coach and participating in the World Women’s Grand Prix – the biggest women’s league outside the World Championships – and our participation in the Men’s World League this year, hosting Finland, Belgium and Canada, and also the World League Finals in Sydney in July,” Carracher stated.
“We have also established the Georgina Hope Foundation Beach Volleyball Performance Analysis Centre and recruited two performance analysis coaches for the World Tour campaign, which started in China last month.
“These are all very exciting initiatives that put Volleyball Australia in the strongest position it has been in since 1999 ahead of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.”
Swimming Australia President John Bertrand said Mrs. Rinehart’s passion and commitment to swimming had helped athletes achieve their goals.
Mrs. Rinehart said: “It is not only a privilege to be able to support in some ways these dedicated young Australians as they strive towards their goals to proudly represent our country, but an inspiration. They are hardworking, put in great effort over many years, have to make sacrifices to do so, yet remain dedicated to excellence in their chosen fields. Hopefully, there will be many fine leaders in these outstanding youngsters as time proceeds.
“It is also a privilege to get to meet those helping unselfishly behind the scenes, and to work with such dedicated and enthusiastic presidents as John Bertrand and Craig Carracher.”