Four New Perpetual Named Sporting Scholarships in 2020

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Of the 340+ sporting scholarships offered to student-athletes at the University of Sydney, four were awarded for the very first time in 2020.

These perpetual named scholarships are established by individuals and organisations who have kindly donated in the spirit of providing a lasting legacy. These gifts are especially appreciated in uncertain times, such as what we’re experiencing now with the COVID-19 pandemic. Four perpetual named scholarships are awarded for the first time this year to four outstanding student athletes in honour of some wonderful Sydney University sporting community members.

Robert Smithies Scholarship

Prior to joining Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) in 2004 as Operations Manager, Rob had an outstanding background in soccer football. Following on from a four-year soccer scholarship at Marquette University in Wisconsin, USA, Rob returned to Australia to study Law at The University of Sydney. As a member of the Sydney University Soccer Football Club (SUSFC), Rob was the first SUSFC player to receive a sporting scholarship from SUSF, as well as a University Blue. Rob was promoted to the role of SUSF’s Executive Director in January 2008, a position he held until his resignation in December 2019. Besides leading Sydney University to outstanding success across all sports, Rob was instrumental in delivering over $40M in new infrastructure for SUSF, including the extension to the Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatic Centre, the Sydney University Football Ground and Grandstand, the Thyne Reid Boathouse and the Bruce Pryor Hockey Field. The Robert Smithies Scholarship was established by the kind contributions of Rob and his family and friends.

Inaugural Robert Smithies Scholarship Recipient: Clare Wheeler (Soccer, B. Commerce)

Rodney Tubbs Scholarship

Established by family and friends of Rodney Tubbs (a.k.a. “Tubbsy”), this perpetual named scholarship honours the wonderful Sydney University Australian National Football Club (SUANFC) player, coach and SUSF administrator. A longtime member of the SUANFC, Rod was a Club Best & Fairest winner and consistently polled votes in the NSWAFL’s Best & Fairest medal. He performed Club/NSWAFL committee roles throughout his playing days and was awarded a University Blue for Australian Football. In 1969, he captained/coached the Club’s senior side to an inaugural premiership victory. From 1997 to 2017 he managed Corporate & Alumni Relations for SUSF, staging annual ‘Blue & Gold’ Luncheons for various sports which included Aussie Rules and which reunited past players and raised substantial funds for SUANFC.

Inaugural Rodney Tubbs Scholarship Recipient: Jack Hiscox (Aust. Rules Football, B. Liberal Arts and Science)

David Hynes Scholarship

David Hynes is a graduate in both Economics and Law at The University of Sydney. He was one of the very first recipients of a Sydney University Sporting Scholarship when they were initiated in 1990. David was the Sydney University Sportsman of the Year in 1992 and received a University Blue for Baseball in 1993. He then became Sydney Uni’s first ever Baseball Olympian at the 1996 Atlanta Games. David was an explosive power hitter and posted the second highest batting at the 1996 Olympic Games. He has given long term support to Sydney University Baseball Club and currently serves as the President of Baseball Australia.

Inaugural David Hynes Scholarship Recipient: Matthew Kelleher (Baseball, B. Arts)

Ron & Jennie Finlay Scholarship

Ron Finlay’s playing career at the Sydney University Baseball Club (SUBC) involved seventeen 1st Grade seasons as an outstanding catcher. He represented NSW, was selected in the All Australian Intervarsity team and was awarded a University Blue for Baseball in 1972. Jennie was a tireless SUBC contributor, scorer, and organiser and the Jennie Finlay Encouragement Award is traditionally awarded to a student of The University of Sydney as a ‘rookie of the year’ award. Ron and Jennie were the force behind the Club’s social program in an exciting era when Sydney University were 1st Grade premiers. Ron went on to coach SUBC sides and was the Club President for sixteen years (receiving a University Gold in 1985). He subsequently became the President of both Baseball Australia and the Baseball Confederation of Oceania, representing Australia at meetings of the International Baseball Federation. In June 2015 Ron received an AM for service, amongst other things, to the sport of baseball.

Inaugural Ron & Jennie Finlay Scholarship Recipient: Dean Pousini-Hilton (Baseball, B. Science)

Three decades have passed since the first Sydney University sporting scholarships were awarded in 1990. Over 2,000 student athletes have been supported in reaching their sport and study ambitions with sporting scholarships through the Elite Athlete Program. Of the 345+ student athletes supported in 2020, 39 are facilitated by perpetual named scholarships.

To ensure that we can continue to support Sydney University’s best student athletes, as well as the success of Sydney University sporting clubs, establishing more perpetual named scholarships is key. Our goal is to raise $5M by 2025.

To find out more about our community of perpetual named scholarship donors, including how to join them, click here.