News from the Nest – May 2023


News from the Nest – May 2023

When Australia thinks of a winning streak in sport, most of us recall the Cronulla Sharks 15 game winning streak in 2014 where they went on to win their first premiership in history. For those that prefer the round ball, you may remember the victorious days where Brisbane Roar coached by Ange Postegolou had 36 matches without a loss creating a new Australian record back in 2012.  For those that love their cricket, you’ll recall under Steve Waugh the Australians won a record of 16 consecutive test matches between 1999 and 2001. 

Unfortunately we don’t seem to be able to recall winning streaks for our elite athletes and for sports such as Boccia, they simply go uncelebrated. The WattleNest however wants to draw your attention to this moment in history so that when you are next celebrating Australian winning streaks, our para-legends are not forgotten and this featured photo of Australian sporting heroes comes to mind.

Daniel Michel PLY (featured within photograph above) is a proud WattleNest athlete who is a key member of the Australian Boccia team. The team have this month returned back to Australia after competing in the Montreal World Cup – they have brought home the gold medal AGAIN. This is their fourth consecutive Gold Medal performance after a winning streak of 21 matches undefeated dating back to their Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Gold medal. Simply incredible! 

Our athletes can make a difference in life on a daily basis – they teach many important values, promote inclusiveness, provide stability to communities, remove barriers, bring hope and encourage those around them to stay active, social and connected. The social return on investment in sport is significant – there is growing evidence that our athletes are positive role models within society and by investing in them, we can together bring greater outcomes for all.

May has been a huge month for our athletes with some of their achievements highlighted below:-

Alex Welsh (Para Cycling) had a fabulous finish to his European trip with a personal road race and then finishing 11th in the team relay.  Alex is a 6 X Australian Road Racing Champion in the sport of Para-Cycling with multiple International podium finishes to his name. He is training tirelessly to keep mentally and physically fit as the competitive landscape strengthens and racing gets harder and faster.

Sarah Larcombe (Para Climbing) has claimed a silver medal in Salt Lake City at the Para climbing World Cup 2023 and thanks the team at Integral for supporting her on the way.

Murphy PLY (Swimming) has made us and Aurizon proud with her return to full training after a ACL, MCL and PCL reconstruction dropping 15 seconds off her 400m freestyle time at the National Championships. 

Janine Watson PLY, Celine Vinot, Caitlin Dransfield (Badminton) represented Australia at the Thailand Para-badminton International 2023 competition. Janine was back in action a week later competing in Bahrain winning her way to the Quarterfinals in the mixed doubles. 

Jackson Collins (K2) represented Australia in the Mixed K2 500m World Cup taking home a Gold with his partner Aly Bull. 

Jean Van Der Westhuyzen OLY  in a nail biting finish has claimed second place in the Mens K2 500m at the World Cup in Hungary. He thanks Aurizon for their support.

Shaun Yeun (Karate) competed in the Australia Open National competition securing his number one status with another Championship to his name.  

Bronwen Knox OLY (Water Polo) has been appointed as Deputy Chief De Mission for the Paris 2024 Games and we couldn’t be prouder. We think Bron is a true empowerment enabler and a woman of absolute integrity!

David Alley (Endurance) spent a day in the life of an Aurizon employee visiting their Mackay branch. It was wonderful to see the Aurizon values of safety and excellence inbuilt in the culture of their people. 

Carina Hagarty (Trampoline) secured a National bronze medal and a PB in trampoling in addition to a Gold medal in the Double Mini. We are so excited to see her go from strength to strength. 

Jalen Rucker (Long Jumper) has had some pretty impressive jumps for his first International tournament representing Australia in Greece.

Bonnie Hancock (Endurance) has become an ambassador for Gotcha For Life – a cause close to heart and one she hopes will continue to save lives. 

Jess Borg (Taekwondo) has been talent identified for a number of different sports (boxing, archery and skateboarding) leading into the 2032 Brisbane Games.  After just five months of boxing Jess had her debut fight this month banking her first victory. Our Taekwondo fighter and now also Boxer is training hard in two disciplines with the possibility of becoming a dual Olympian is becoming a closer option. 

Natalie Van CoeVorden placed 16th at a very hot World Triathlon Championship Series in Cagliari.  She has been competing in Yokohama with great consistency and will soon be heading to Montreal.

Ruby Harris (Hockey) has joined the Earthletic Activewear team as their newest ambassador advocating for sustainability and the environment. What a great match! She was selected for Australia A to play a two match series against India in Adelaide on the 25th and 27th of May claiming victory.

With over 90 athletes now in our program, the list of achievements is simply too long to itemise but everyone in the WattleNest community continues to demonstrate our values of courage, compassion and curiosity in their daily routines.

Wattlenest Athlete Community

Athlete Spotlight

Ammrutha Vasetharan (Archery) 

Ammrutha is an Australian archer who has been selected to represent our Nation at the World Archery Youth Championships that will be held in Limerick, Ireland from the 3rd to the 9th of July 2023. She started competing in June 2017 and trains six days per week under Coach Michael Larven at the Adelaide Archery Club. Her ultimate goal is to represent Australia at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games which will place her the youngest female archer to have represented Australia at an Olympic Games.

Athlete Spotlight

Meet Alexandra Kiori-Bogatyreva (Gymnastics)

Alexandra makes gymnastics look easy – she is an Australian rhythmic gymnastic claiming the 2018, 2019, 2022 and 2023 Australian All Round Champion. She is a Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist and is ranked 30th in the World. At the age of 10 Alexandra qualified for her first Nationals where she ended up on the podium and the following year made her first International debut. With far too many awards to list, we believe Alexandra’s dedication and commitment needs to be celebrated. 

Athlete Spotlight

Ben Hance PLY (Swimming)

Ben is an Australian Paralympic swimming who returned from the Tokyo Games with a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal  – a pretty impressive Dolphin debut. 

In 2022 Ben received a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to sport. 

Ben captivates audiences when sharing his story reminding us all the power of positive and strong mind. 

A photo speaks a million words

1. David Alley shares stories with Aurizon employees in Mackay 

2. Ray Merlano of Data #3 interviews some athletes as part of employee engagement and external stakeholder awareness 

3. We invite athletes and partners to our For the Glory Studio for an opportunity to play “TV host” for a day 4. Jeff Horn rocks the WattleNest cap and shares his learnings

Friends of the WattleNest

We have welcomed two new friends to the WattleNest this month bringing us endless energy, thought leadership and industry insights. We look forward to introducing you to Cathy McGuane and Marty Rowen as they support the WattleNest with future growth, connectivity and athlete engagement. 

How can you support? 

We thank you for your words of encouragement and support. Many of you have been asking if individuals and/or business can make a once-off tax deductible donation towards the WattleNest. The answer is yes.

The WattleNest Pty Limited has an approved association with the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) that enables us to engage in tax deductible fundraising activities and accept donations of any size. Donations from $2 in value made via this link are tax deductible. Shortly after making a donation you will receive an official receipt from the ASF that you can use in your income tax return.

Opportunities exist for aligned businesses to partner with the WattleNest that will allow us to invest in Australia’s talent – our athletes are committed to giving back and we know by investing in them we are contributing to building stronger, healthier and all inclusive communities.

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