The Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF) in partnership with Cycling Australia/AIS High Performance Program today announced 18-year-old South Australia-based Carlee Taylor as the recipient of the 2008 Amy Gillett Scholarship. 2008 saw the most applicants ever apply for the annual scholarship, and Carlee Taylor was successful against some of Australia's most talented rising stars from all parts of the country, including Junior World Champions and World Record holders.
The Scholarship provides outstanding financial and in-kind support for the recipient. AGF General Manager, Melinda Jacobsen explained, "Each year we look to support a well-rounded female athlete who is not only determined and capable of excelling in the sport of cycling, but who acknowledges the importance of continued further education and life off the bike," said Jacobsen. "We are thrilled with the phenomenal response from Australian women cyclists," she added.
Taylor was ecstatic with the news, "You're joking, that's fantastic. Thank you so much" ,she said when told of her selection. The Amy Gillett Scholarship, now in its third year, is well-established as an important avenue for developing women cyclists to get their chance to compete at the highest levels of the sport. The dual emphasis on work and learning reflects the qualities successfully pursued by elite cyclist Amy Gillett before she was killed whilst on a training ride in Germany.
The scholarship honours the memory of Amy by supporting young female cyclists who share in her similar sporting and life goals.
Living and training in South Australia, Taylor started her competitive cycling career in 2007 after crossing over from triathlon competition. Since taking up cycling, her impressive achievements include the 2008 U23 Australian Women's Road Championship, fourth place in the 2008 U23 Australian Women's Time Trial Championship, a win in the U19 National Road Series (2007), and selection in the Australian Junior Road Team (May 2007).
The Scholarship provides a mixture of financial and in-kind incentives to the annual recipient including assistance with travel, accommodation and expenses whilst competing overseas with the AIS Women's team; a Giant road bike for training and competition, courtesy of Giant Bicycles; eye wear products courtesy of Oakley, airfares courtesy of Flight Centre and access to AIS clinical services during training camps at the AIS.