Emerging Young Athlete Award Launched

Sport Hawke's Bay's Ryan Hambleton and Hawke's Bay Foundation donor Rachael Knight
  • Sport Hawke’s Bay’s Ryan Hambleton and Hawke’s Bay Foundation donor Rachael Knight with the Emerging Young Sportsperson Award

Local philanthropist Rachael Knight has always had a passion for playing sport. Using Hawke’s Bay Foundation as a vehicle for her charitable giving, she’s now getting a kick out of giving back through a new award in her name recognizing emerging Hawke’s Bay athletes.

The Rachael Knight Emerging Young Athlete Award will be launched at Sport Hawke’s Bay’s Annual Awards (rescheduled for the new date of October 29th), and aims to celebrate emerging young local talent across all sporting codes.

By setting up a designated fund for the award through Hawke’s Bay Foundation, Rachael will utilize the growing income from the fund as prize money for the award recipients. It means as the fund generates income in perpetuity, prize money for the award grows and Rachael’s legacy is remembered long after she’s gone.
For Rachael, investing in Hawke’s Bay’s future is something she finds extremely fulfilling.

“It’s easy to think about being charitable but not do anything about it, it takes a certain resolve to put the ‘giving wheels’ in motion. Once I started I found it incredibly rewarding. I chose Hawke’s Bay Foundation to manage my charitable giving because there’s no bureaucracy, it’s local and gets through to the people who need it. It’s got integrity and I like that.”

Rachael who has participated in a wide variety of sport including equestrian, tennis, swimming, skiing and currently golf and bowls, now wants to help other hard-working athletes achieve their dreams.

“Athletes work so hard in this country but there’s no money in many sports unless they’re winning gold medals, so countless athletes are competing on a shoestring. I felt compelled to initiate a new award that recognizes what young sportsmen and women are achieving is worthwhile, and that there are people out there supporting them along their journey.”

Over the last six years Rachael has been quietly sponsoring local high performance athletes. Among her current proteges are 200 metre New Zealand champion Georgia Hulls and para athlete, Guy Harrison.

Sport Hawke’s Bay General Manager, Ryan Hambleton says this new award will allow the region to recognise its future champions.

“As a region we have more secondary school aged students participating in sport when compared to the national average. We know our Hawke’s Bay rangatahi are active and as a result we have a number of emerging and high performing athletes. This award will ensure we are celebrating not only our supreme athletes, but also those younger athletes that we can identify and assist in their journey to become an Olympic, Paralympic or World Champion, and hopefully one day win the supreme Hawke’s Bay Sportsperson of the Year award.”

Ryan says Sport Hawke’s Bay is extremely thankful to the number of individuals and organisations who support the play, active recreation and sport sector.
“Participating in physical activity at all levels comes with a cost so support from people like Rachael reduces barriers for people to get more physically active and in some cases excel on a national and international level. Sitting down with Rachael and Amy from Hawke’s Bay Foundation allowed us to talk about the awards, who we were able to celebrate and who we were potentially missing out. With Rachael’s support we will be able to ensure we are recognising and celebrating future talented athletes from our region.”

Rachael’s suggestion to others planning their own philanthropy is:  “Do it while you’re alive so you can be involved and see the pleasure your generosity brings.”

If you would like to find out how you can set up your own Sports Award get in touch with us at the Hawke’s Bay Foundation.