Order of Merit for Gina Rinehart
10 May 2014
AOC: 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 swimming and volleyball.
Mrs Rinehart, through the Georgina Hope Foundation, is providing financial support direct to athletes from both sports.
Announcing the award in Sydney today, the President of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates, paid tribute to Mrs Rinehart’s on-going support of athletes saying “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”.
As a result, 122 swimmers now receive direct financial support.
There is also a strong focus on education and obligations at the individual athlete level to drive change in values and culture.
“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 on and off the field of play,” Coates said.
“Mrs Rinehart’s commitment to Australian sporting excellence goes back nearly 20 years. During that time she supported WA and QLD Swimming through the Hancock Family Medical Foundation.”
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 – a significant milestone.
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. 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,” Carracher said.
Swimming Australia President John Bertrand said Mrs Rinehart’s passion and commitment to swimming is enabling our current athletes to achieve their goals.
“Mrs Rinehart has been a long-time supporter of swimming and most recently through the Georgina Hope Foundation Swimmers’ Support Scheme is providing athletes with the support they need to train and perform at their best,” said Bertrand.
“This assistance and support is vital in enabling our athletes to achieve their goals in the lead up to Rio and beyond, and also for Swimming Australia to achieve its vision of being the number one ranked nation in and out of the pool by 2020.”
“We are honoured to have Mrs Rinehart as part of our team, and part of the swimming family.”
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.”