World champion shot putter Tom Walsh has been named ambassador for the Aoraki Sports Persons Charitable Trust (Aspect).
Trust chairman Peter Burt said Walsh would be a figurehead to represent Aspect to companies the trust was courting for sponsorship, a mentor for young sportspeople, and showcase the trust which had supported him on his journey to international-level competition.
Walsh said he was pleased to be able to give something back to the trust, as it had supported him from about the age of 15.
“I think that’s what small towns do so well – having these organisations that go out and find some money to help kids, and hopefully I’ll be able to help do a bit of that.
“I’ve been lucky to have supportive parents, but a lot of people aren’t as lucky as I am. Even through school it’s tough sometimes and you’re a bit out in the wilderness between the ages of 18 to 22 – it can be a really tough time to be chasing your dreams.”
Trust member Nigel Davenport said that while parents might be able to finance their children through to regional representation, when they hit New Zealand level there was a big increase in terms of cost and time.
Burt said Walsh’s involvement with the trust would enhance its image and open doors that might not have previously been open.
“It will be a conduit for sporting organisations to know and understand what we stand for and our philosophies in supporting up-and-coming, predominantly young, high-achieving athletes.”
“Tom has been on board with Aspect through his entire journey, and we have supported his endeavours along the way. He is the best example of what we strive to achieve, and essentially epitomises the very reason Aspect exists.”