Briana Irving well supported

WORLD CHAMPION: Briana Irving competes in the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide last year. She won the under-19 women’s beach sprint and was part of the winning relay team. Picture supplied

BRIANA Irving will have solid backing as she continues to make a splash in surf lifesaving and other sports.

The surf lifesaving junior world champion from Gisborne is part of the second intake of Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship recipients, one of 12 young women to join the programme this year.

Irving, 16, will have at least one mentor to help her achieve her goals, although she’s not yet sure who that will be.

The scholarship is worth $5000 a year for three years and Irving has been sponsored by a collective of Tania Dalton’s friends.

A former Silver Fern netball player, Dalton died in 2017, aged 45, after she collapsed due to a brain aneurysm during a game of social touch rugby.

The foundation was set up afterwards to help young sportswomen make the most of their potential.

Irving said it was to help youth who aspired to be professional athletes and she was grateful for the support as she sought to continue her development.

“I think it will be good exposure to see what it’s like,” Irving said.

The scholarship would help her in her sport and outside it, she said.

Irving, a top-class beach sprinter, showed what she could do on the athletics track last weekend by snatching a gold medal in the under-18 women’s 200 metres at the track and field nationals in Christchurch.

She was also third in the 100m final.

She is part of the New Zealand Junior Black Fins surf lifesaving team.

Irving won the youth (under-19) women’s beach sprint title and was a member of the winning beach relay team at the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide last year.

She is preparing for the surf lifesaving nationals at Mount Maunganui from March 21 to 24. A week later she will be on the Gold Coast for the Australian surf lifesaving nationals.

She is a member of the Waikanae club and does some coaching there.

Irving said that after applying for the scholarship, she made the shortlist and was then interviewed over the phone.

She and the other scholarship recipients gathered in Auckland just after her Christchurch triumph and she made a speech, thanking her parents, coaches, the foundation and sponsors.

The Gisborne Girls’ High School Year 12 student said part of the programme involved giving back to the community in the third year.

That would help “carry on Tania’s legacy”, she said.

Gisborne’s Renee Holmes was part of the first intake of scholarship recipients last year, for rugby.

The other recipients this year were Princess Elliott, touch and rugby 7s, Auckland; Taneisha Fafita, netball, Oamaru; Tenaija Fletcher, rugby, Warkworth; Quantelle Hira-Kapua, netball, Christchurch; Waiata Jennings, basketball, Rotorua; Zaaliyah Kalaihi-Fulu, basketball, Auckland; Vika Koloto, netball, Auckland; Paris Lokotui, netball, Wellington; Caterina Poletti, rugby, Waitaki; Amy Rule, rugby, Riverton; Quaye Walker-Eketone, basketball, Raglan.

BRIANA Irving will have solid backing as she continues to make a splash in surf lifesaving and other sports.

The surf lifesaving junior world champion from Gisborne is part of the second intake of Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship recipients, one of 12 young women to join the programme this year.

Irving, 16, will have at least one mentor to help her achieve her goals, although she’s not yet sure who that will be.

The scholarship is worth $5000 a year for three years and Irving has been sponsored by a collective of Tania Dalton’s friends.

A former Silver Fern netball player, Dalton died in 2017, aged 45, after she collapsed due to a brain aneurysm during a game of social touch rugby.

The foundation was set up afterwards to help young sportswomen make the most of their potential.

Irving said it was to help youth who aspired to be professional athletes and she was grateful for the support as she sought to continue her development.

“I think it will be good exposure to see what it’s like,” Irving said.

The scholarship would help her in her sport and outside it, she said.

Irving, a top-class beach sprinter, showed what she could do on the athletics track last weekend by snatching a gold medal in the under-18 women’s 200 metres at the track and field nationals in Christchurch.

She was also third in the 100m final.

She is part of the New Zealand Junior Black Fins surf lifesaving team.

Irving won the youth (under-19) women’s beach sprint title and was a member of the winning beach relay team at the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide last year.

She is preparing for the surf lifesaving nationals at Mount Maunganui from March 21 to 24. A week later she will be on the Gold Coast for the Australian surf lifesaving nationals.

She is a member of the Waikanae club and does some coaching there.

Irving said that after applying for the scholarship, she made the shortlist and was then interviewed over the phone.

She and the other scholarship recipients gathered in Auckland just after her Christchurch triumph and she made a speech, thanking her parents, coaches, the foundation and sponsors.

The Gisborne Girls’ High School Year 12 student said part of the programme involved giving back to the community in the third year.

That would help “carry on Tania’s legacy”, she said.

Gisborne’s Renee Holmes was part of the first intake of scholarship recipients last year, for rugby.

The other recipients this year were Princess Elliott, touch and rugby 7s, Auckland; Taneisha Fafita, netball, Oamaru; Tenaija Fletcher, rugby, Warkworth; Quantelle Hira-Kapua, netball, Christchurch; Waiata Jennings, basketball, Rotorua; Zaaliyah Kalaihi-Fulu, basketball, Auckland; Vika Koloto, netball, Auckland; Paris Lokotui, netball, Wellington; Caterina Poletti, rugby, Waitaki; Amy Rule, rugby, Riverton; Quaye Walker-Eketone, basketball, Raglan.

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