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Harry O’Rourke Memorial
Scholarship for Para-Athletes

Keegan Pitcher
2017 and 2018 Harry O'Rourke
Memorial Award Recipient
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The Harry O’Rourke Memorial Scholarship is for an outstanding athlete with a disability.


Young people wanting to apply must be aged between 14 and 21, both birthdays inclusive, pre elite, with a strong record of success and a reputation with their coach/club/teacher as being someone likely to succeed. They must live in West Auckland.

Full details are on the application form.


Harry O’Rourke was a trustee of the Don Oliver Youth Sports Foundation for several years after he retired from a lifetime of service to Local Government, culminating with a decade as the CEO of Waitakere City Council.


A life long Judoka, Harry was both a black belt as a fighter and one of the sport’s top administrators internationally.  He was inspired through his careers by the courage and achievements of our para-athletes.  After his death early last year his wife, Jackie, advised that, at Harry’s request she wanted to see a Don Oliver Scholarship for an outstanding para-athlete, added to the annual scholarships. The couple felt strongly that this should be created not only as a  memorial to Harry, but also because athletes with disabilities should have the same opportunities as those without.

All applicants are judged according to their achievements and not on their disability or otherwise. Outstanding para-athletes who would anyway qualify for a scholarship, would become candidates for the Harry O’Rourke Memorial Scholarship.


Our very demanding selectors judge everyone who applies, on whether they have had the results and have the skill and personal x factor, to reach the very top of their chosen sport, with the potential to succeed on the world stage.  Para-athlete applicants will be selected against the same criteria as the athletes without a disability.

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