Sumner Siblings receive Sumner Ferrymead Foundation Grants

Gabriella Hawke

Jeremy Hawke

For the first time in the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation’s 30 year history, two siblings were recipients of grants in the latest funding round. Gabriella and Jeremy Hawke, a promising ballet dancer and an aspiring surfer respectively, both received funds to support their studies at the NZ School of Dance in Wellington and the Raglan Surfing Academy.

Gabriella started ballet at the age of three in the Sumner Community Hall, and it has been her sole focus since then. “I’ve learnt many styles including classical, jazz, musical theatre and contemporary, but classical ballet is my favourite; I love the discipline of it, and the history behind be,” said Gabriella. “My goal is to join the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Last year I got feel for what its like to be in a professional dance company when I had a two month secondment with them. It was a wonderful experience.

As a third year student, Gabriella’s typical day starts with a classical technique class, followed by more dance classes until 4.30 or 5pm. “The last year has no academic classes unlike the first two years, where we studied physiology, anatomy, sports psychology, music, dance history, dance studies…. the list goes on. On top of that I was completing my last year at high school so it was incredibly busy. I am so grateful to the support I have received from the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation as not only are the tuition costs very expensive, but so is living in Wellington. It’s a great help.

Unlike Gabriella, her younger brother Jeremy has tried most sports – from skate boarding and football to snow boarding and skiing. And then he found surfing! He is using the grant from the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation towards the tuition costs at the Raglan Surf Academy. The Academy is part of Raglan Area School and provides surfing as a physical education subject. To be accepted students need to be highly motivated, have a high level of competence in surfing, and a keen desire to do well both in surfing and at school work.

The Surf Academy curriculum involves organising and running a national surfing event for secondary school students, skills I can bring back to Sumner at the end of the year” said Jeremy, “And, the expert coaching I receive will improve my surfing skills when competing in competitions and free surfing.

Sumner Ferrymead Foundation trustee and NZ Olympian, John Christensen, knows too well the discipline, passion and training required for young elite athletes to succeed. “It is hard to study, work and train so by providing some financial assistance we hope to be able to reduce the financial burden on them and their families. It will be great to be able to follow both Gabriella and Jeremy’s progress in the years to come.

Next month the Sumner Ferrymead Foundation is offering four $5,000 and one $10,000 community grants to clubs, groups, and organisations in the Foundation’s catchment area – from Taylors Mistake to Mt Pleasant, around to Heathcote and across to Brookhaven - to celebrate 30 years of helping the local community. “It’s quite a milestone so it seemed a good opportunity to provide $30,000 for community projects to mark the 30 years,” said John. Information on the community grants will be available on the website from mid-March.