ILUKA motocross rider Caleb Grothues has been awarded the Sport Australia Scholarship and Mentoring Program for 2017.
The 16-year-old was one of five young sports stars awarded at The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Champions of our Nation Induction and Awards gala dinner in Melbourne earlier this month.
He was presented with a return economy flight to help with international training and competition, a $5000 funding grant to assist with sporting related costs and a Sports Australia hall of fame member to mentor him for 2017.
Kickboxing legend Stan Longinidis was paired with Grothues as his mentor to help with more than just technique in the discipline.
Already a world champion at age 12, Grothues has already had to overcome challenging and difficult times.
At the dinner, he shared what an honour it was to receive the scholarship and explained Longinidis’s contribution as a mentor.
“I kind of thought when I received the phone call telling me that I had got the scholarship that it was a joke to be honest,” he said.
“I was like ‘you’re dreaming; it would never happen’.
“I think they had looked in to what I had done, how I have come back from my injury and everything that has happened, and it just went from there.
“This is awesome to be mentored by someone like Stan; he is a good guy and he has done a lot in his career.
“A boxing situation is similar to a motocross situation.
“When you get on track it’s only up to you, and when he gets out in the ring it’s only up to him. He knows what it takes to be a champion.
“It will help me to set up my mind and control it a bit better than what I can; it’s really just like a therapist.
“It’s good to be mentored by someone outside the discipline because you get a different opinion on things, which makes it easier on me.”
Though his plans for next year are still undecided, Grothues will focus his attention on preparing and training for the 2017 season.