The Minerva Network is delighted to announce that Sydney FC and Future Matildas football player Jada Whyman has been awarded the inaugural Sydney Roosters & Easts Group Minerva Scholarship.
Jada, 21, who grew up in Wagga Wagga in south-west New South Wales but now resides in Sydney, was one of 17 outstanding young athletes considered for the scholarship.
Christine McLoughlin, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Minerva Network, said: “The Minerva Network, in conjunction with our founding scholarship partner the Sydney Roosters & Easts Group, is delighted to announce that Jada Whyman will receive our inaugural scholarship.
“The Minerva Network Scholarships Program was launched in September 2020 and is open to Australia’s elite and professional level women athletes who are Minerva Stars and who would benefit from financial support to complete or commence an Australian certified educational or vocational qualification.
“Jada was assessed by the Minerva Scholarships Committee as an outstanding Minerva Star who is a role model on and off the field, has a long-term career goal linked to a proposed area of study, and a credible plan to maintain her level of sporting performance despite the study commitment.
“We know from working with elite women athletes over the past four years at the Minerva Network that they juggle training, competing, part-time work to pay the bills, and their studies. Sadly, when the pressure is on and they need to cover some of the bills, too often those studies are sacrificed. A generous scholarship such as this enables athletes like Jada to compete, train and study.”
The Sydney Roosters and Easts Group have committed $10,000 per annum for five years, starting in February 2021 to coincide with the commencement of the University and TAFE calendar year.
Mr Joe Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Roosters and Easts Group, said: “We congratulate Jada Whyman, one of Australia’s rising stars of professional sport, on being awarded the inaugural Sydney Roosters & Easts Group Minerva Scholarship.
“The Minerva Network impressively supports elite and professional sportswomen to maximise their opportunities both on and off the field and our values are deeply aligned to this purpose.
“As a result of this scholarship, Jada will be better able to realise her ambitious educational aspirations.
“As an NRL Club we have a strong focus on developing rugby league pathways for girls and women. We also acknowledge the enormous efforts of all women in elite and professional sport and therefore this scholarship was available to all sporting disciplines.”
Ms McLoughlin said this was the first of a number of scholarships the Minerva Network intends to offer the rising stars of Australian women’s sport as it helps our elite athletes bridge the gap between on-field and off-field success.
“These scholarships are an investment in our future as the level of skill and discipline shown by our Minerva Stars in competing at the highest level are precisely the traits we look for in the world of business,” she said.
“By fostering the drive, ambition and talent of these elite women in sport we are playing a role in the development of the future business and community leaders of Australia.”
Minerva Mentor Annette Wargon is Chair of the Minerva Network Scholarship Committee, which also includes Gabrielle Curtin, Group Executive, Snowy Hydro, Nicola Wakefield Evans, one of Australia’s leading company directors and Chairman of the 30% Club Australia, and Kate Aitken, Minerva Network Co-Founder and Vice-President Human Resources at Optus. The committee assesses all scholarship applications while inspiring athletes to set their long-term career goals.
Jada Whyman is keen to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce degree at university. A proud Indigenous Australian, Jada has been working as an ambassador for John Moriarty Football, an organisation dedicated to helping young Indigenous players achieve success in the sport, in partnership with the FFA, and as an ambassador for Stadium Australia working with charities and in the community.
She is also a volunteer youth worker for Glebe Youth Service, and an outreach counsellor supporting young Indigenous people in remote Australia for mental health non-profit organisation Headspace.