Historic 100th Sporting Dreams Grant presented

Triple Paralympian Marayke Jonkers has awarded the 100th grant from her Sporting Dreams foundation for Queensland athletes with a disability ata gala presentation event on the Sunshine Coast last night.


Marayke with 100 sporting dreams athlete Alpine skier Jordan Carroll and his guide Ekka

Aspiring Winter Paralympian, 18-year-old alpine skier Jordan Carroll, was the historic 100th grant recipient, receiving his grant cheque from the evening’s special guest, inaugural Sporting Dreams grant recipient, Paralympian Rachel Dodds, Marayke and Sunshine Coast Regional Councillor Jason OPray.  He attended with guide dog Ekka.

Jonkers said she was thrilled to present the 100th athlete award to such a determined athlete as Carroll.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the achievements of our 100th grant recipient Jordan Carroll who, despite losing his vision only year ago through cancer, has already being invited to train with the National Paralympic team, and has the potential to become Queensland’s first Winter Paralympian.”

A total of 21 rising stars and established athletes from across Queensland were awarded individual grants of up to $500 as part of the 2014 funding allocation. They will use their grants towards costs such as sports equipment, competition fees and travel expenses.


They ranged in age from 10-year-old wheelchair basketball player Travis Larkin to 57-year-old lawn bowler Debra McGarry.

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Jonkers says the evening was an incredible success, with all former 100 grand recipients welcomed back to share in the festivities, being presented with an honour scroll of the 100 athletes names to take home and have their photo taken with an honour board depicting the name of each Sporting Dream’s athlete.

Sporting games founder Marayke says the night was a resounding success,  and  a very moving experience for the audience.

“The highlight for me was watching inaugural Sporting Dreams athlete Rachel Dodd’s presenting our 100th grant and listening to her speak about how far she has come in her career from dreaming of being a Paralympian  when we first met her as a child to becoming world champion and Paralympian. Hearing Rachel speak about the difference Sporting Dreams made in her life and seeing what an inspiration she can now be to the next generation such as Jordan  makes everything we do at sporting dreams  worthwhile,” Jonkers said.


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The ceremony was held at and sponsored by the University of Sunshine Coast, where Jonkers studied for her two degrees, with entertainment provided by musician Cass Mitchell during canapés and drinks.







It was attended by local politicians Fiona Simpso, MP and speaker Queensland Parliament, and Cr Jason OPray


Marayke with Jason OPray

Sporting Dreams Awards Marayke Jonkers

Marayke with Fiona Simpson













Special guests included Paralympian Taylor Cory and Olympian Tessa Wallace who signed autographs for the crowd.


Olympian and Commonwealth Games medallist in breaststroke Tessa Wallace with Marayke and Jordan Carroll




Paralympian taylor Cory signs autographs













This year there were two  major award sponsors  the Sunshine Coast sports Federation, who sponsored a grant for 7 a side footballer  Robbie Christie which was presented by executive officer Graeme  Murphy and Rotary club of Caboolture who sponsored the grant of Caboolture swimmer Lakeisha Patterson.


Sunshine Coast sports Federation executive officer Graeme Murphy joins Marayke to present footballer Robbie Christie with his award

Photography services were donated by Marion Jonkers of Marion Jonkers photography and Barry Allsop from eyes wide open images.


Marayke with sports photographer Barry Allsopp, who volunteered his time to help with photography at the event.



Marayke with her family including mum an official photographer Marion, from Marian Jonkers photography , maraykes grandparents, and sister Gemma.














Marayke established Sporting Dreams in 2008 with a $10,000 grant she received as winner of a national women’s magazine award. She said she was proud of having supported 118 athletes with disabilities since then.

“Becoming a Paralympian has changed my life and I wanted to ensure every athlete had the same opportunity to experience the benefits I have had through sport, which is why I started Sporting Dreams,” said Marayke.

Sporting Dreams is administered by Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association. The foundation depends on fundraising and corporate support to continue its work in supporting athletes with disabilities.

To support the foundation for 2015 you can donate via this web ask your business to sponsor a grant   or conduct of fundraising event.

To find out more about Sporting Dreams, visit www.sportingdreams.org.au 

2014 Sporting Dreams Grant recipients

Introductory Grants ($250 for beginner athletes or athletes in their first year of competition)

Blake Anderson (Cross Country) – Mt Kilcoy

Erin Baker (Kayaking) – Mermaid Waters

Jordan Carroll (Alpine Skiing) – East Brisbane

Katja Dedekind (Goalball) – Kenmore

Alex Dwyer (Athletics) – Beaudesert

Mathew Eaton (Goalball) – Earlville

Nathan Ford (Boccia) – Mitchelton

Olga Itsenko-Mahler (Goalball) – Edge Hill

Travis Larkin (Wheelchair Basketball) – Toowoomba

Kirsten Lindemann (Boccia ) – Wamuran

Larry Marshall (Goalball) – Edge Hill

Lakeisha Patterson (Swimming) – Caboolture

Steve Rabbett (Goalball) – Cairns


Development Grants ($500 for established athletes)

Georgia Bishop-Cash (Wheelchair Basketball) – Greenslopes

Robert Christie (Paralympic Football) – Karana Downs

Debra McGarry (Lawn Bowls) – Mount Barney

Josh Nicholson (Wheelchair Basketball/Wheelchair Rugby) – Slade Point

Noah Robinson (Swimming) – Sorrento

Matthew Stark (Swimming) – Eatons Hill

Kelly Warren (Athletics) – Albany Creek

Brendan Young (Goalball) – Grandchester


 Sponsors and supporters

Caboolture Rotary club

University of the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast sports Federation



Photography :

Marion Jonkers Photography

Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

Video & Administration -Rob McBroom

Volunteers- Karen Jenkinson, Deb Jones, John Borgh, Ian Jones,  Gemma Jonkers, Darron Shields, Dale Lanini, Danni and Natalie, Gemma Jonkers

USC intern: Amy Wilson

Cass Mitchell: Music




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