Published Tue 07 May 2024

Water Polo Australia (WPA) is pleased to announce the second-year recipients of the Professional Development (PD) Scholarship program.

The PD Scholarship program is available to current senior squad and National Age Group Program members, as well as senior squad members from the past two years.

The program is designed to offer athletes professional development opportunities, and could include university degrees, vocational courses, short course or micro-credentials, virtual internships, registration or licensing, as well as flights and accommodation to complete any of the above.

In it’s second year, WPA is pleased to announce that three athletes have been selected as recipients of the scholarship.

Ord Minnett Aussie Sharks co-captain Blake Edwards, two-time Olympian Keesja Gofers, and Pascalle Casey have all been named as recipients of the PD Scholarship for 2024.

The total funding pool of $10,000 will be split among the three successful applicants in year two, and is proudly supported by PKF Sydney and Newcastle, and WPA Alumnus Nick Falzon.

Olympian Edwards will be starting the Aleda Connect Leadership program, thanks to the support of the PD Scholarship.

“The Aleda program provides me with the opportunity to collaborate with other leaders from non-competing backgrounds,” Edwards said.

“I hope the program will allow me to develop my leadership skills through conversations with other like-minded people that will share their journey and experiences in their respective sports.

“Self-development is an important facet in everyone’s life, and I hope I can continue to grow as both a leader and person to have a more positive impact on my teammates and wider community,” he said.

Gofers will use the scholarship to help support her studies of a Masters of Teaching.

“I’m so grateful to receive this scholarship - it is really important to me to have career goals alongside my water polo goals,” Gofers said.

“Safe to say, it has been logistically challenging to juggle raising our daughter Teleri, coming back to the Aussie Stingers and my uni degree.

“This scholarship elevates the financial stress so I can focus on more important things,” she said.

Casey will use the scholarship to help towards a short course, studying Brand and Content Marketing.

“Preparing the stepping stones for work life after water polo is extremely important,” Casey said.

“This scholarship will help me develop and upskill my role within the small family business who have supported me throughout my water polo career.

I am grateful for receiving the WPA Professional Development Scholarship,” she said.