Ds Scholarship

Student receives top commemorative award

Hard Work Reward: Mount Gambier cyclist Tess Wight was recently honored with the 2021 South Australian Governor’s Commendation Award. Photo: Trevor Jackson

Charlotte Farko

Young athlete Tess Wight received a prestigious award after a long cycling career.

At just 17 years old, White received the 2021 South Australian Governor’s Commendation Award for her continuing achievements in cycling and sports alongside her accomplishments at SACE.

White said she was told about the nomination, saying that it came as a surprise to her at the time, not to mention that she was a recipient.

“To receive the offer in general, I was speechless because I don’t study or play sports to achieve these kinds of nominations,” White said.

“Receiving the award was a wonderful reward for my achievement and I did not expect it at all.”

White said she took a break from cycling throughout the year to focus on completing high school, but is still happy with her past accomplishments.

“My last big cycling competition was early this year in Ballarat but due to the pandemic almost no competitions have been held which is really annoying,” she said.

“I got into cycling 10 years ago because my dad was in triathlon and that was something that was important to him, so my older siblings got interested as well.

“I was going and watching them all compete which made me want to start competing in the sport instead of watching.”

White said there have been a number of notable events during her cycling career so far, including her first performance at an elite race in Brisbane.

“Cycling has taken me all over Australia, I’ve raced a little bit everywhere because the places where nationals are being held changes for the little ones all the time,” she said.

“I love to race and beat my best, but meeting new people from all over the country is also great.”

Unsure if she’ll return to competitions, Wight said she was just excited to get back on the bike and try out big-city cycling.

“I’ll definitely be in the local races in Adelaide and see where that takes me, but it’s a competitive sport and I just want to see where it goes,” she said.

By advising future Year 11 and 12 students, Wight said organization is key to a successful balance between sport and study.

“Students just need to remember to be very organized, because sports can take a lot of time,” she said.

“I’ve found that it’s better for people to spend their spare time competing or training rather than stressing out and making sure they do their school work first so they can focus on training or racing outside of school and school hours without getting stressed.”

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