The Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation - What is it?

"The Don Oliver" was founded in 1996 to honour the memory of New Zealand champion and Olympic weightlifter - and proud Westie - Don Oliver.

The founders wanted to perpetuate Don's work with young people and established the foundation to provide scholarships for promising young Westie athletes in any sport - who had the results and the x factor that said they could go on to national and even international honours.

The athletes have to be aged between their 14th birthday and their 21st birthday and their permanent home must be in the area New Windsor to Kumeu.

The athletes are selected by an independent panel of experts - former tops sports people and leading sports administrators.

History of The Don Oliver

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It's a successful formula.  There hasn't been a single Olympic or Commonwealth Games team since without at least one past Don Oliver Scholar.  Most celebrated currently, are world class swimmers Lauren Boyle and Melissa Ingram.

Alongside Olympians and Commonwealth Games aspirants, there have also been world champions, national champions - overall, class and age group - Commonwealth champions, scholars to US universities, and people reaching for the top in teams such as football and netball.  Then there is Equestrian, BMX and even motocross and motorcycle track racing.

Every one of them credits and the Don Oliver with giving them real assistance. As a result West Auckland "punches above its weight" in terms of young achievers and those young West Auckland achievers are given assistance from the community that is simply not available in many other towns and cities.

Because "The Don Oliver" obtains its funding from the West Auckland Community, this is very definitely a case of West Aucklanders helping West Aucklanders.  Its called "The Westie Way".