Palmy talent goes global thanks to the Jaycee Trust Travelling Fund

Published on 22 November 2023

A young man cycles along a gravel track on an adapted mountain bike.

We’re pleased to announce the successful recipients of the Jaycee Trust Travelling Fellowships for 2023. This year, the Trust has awarded two exceptional individuals, Jaden Hita and Jayden Glentworth (pictured), with $5,000 each to support their projects.

Jaden Hita is a 17-year-old athlete born and raised in Palmy. He's been selected to represent New Zealand in the Men's Junior Black Sox softball team at the 2023 Men's Softball World Cup in Mexico this month. Jaden plans to give back to the community by sharing his experiences and facilitating skills training clinics for local youth in the sport, serving as a positive role model and ambassador for Palmy’s sporting excellence.

Jayden Glentworth, another proud Palmy local, is embarking on a 3-month trip to British Columbia, Canada, and Colorado, USA. There he'll undergo intensive training and compete in the 2024 USA and Canadian Alpine Skiing Nationals and the Americas Cup. This project is part of Jayden's journey to improve his FIS (International Ski and Snowboard Federation) point standing, which will enable him to qualify for the Europa Cup and the World Cup in the near future. Jayden is also a member of the NZ 2023/24 Paralympic Sport Collective Cohort, further emphasising his dedication to represent New Zealand at the Paralympics.

Despite the need for snow-based training, Jayden spends most of the year in Palmerston North and is deeply connected to the local community. He has been actively involved in various community initiatives and uses his platform to raise awareness of disability issues. Jayden's remarkable journey has been widely covered in the media, and he continually works to inspire others to overcome challenges and barriers, showcasing the power of determination and community collaboration.

Councillor Lorna Johnson, Chair of the Selection Panel, says she’s proud to be a part of Jaden and Jayden’s journeys.

"These young individuals are shining examples of what our community represents - determination, ambition, and the power to inspire. We are honoured to support Jaden Hita and Jayden Glentworth in their journeys, and we can't wait to see the positive impact they will have on our community when they return."

The Selection Panel had planned to hold a small ceremony and morning tea to celebrate with the recipients. However, since both recipients are currently overseas, we will arrange a special event early in the new year that will also provide an opportunity for them to share their experiences and insights from their projects.

More information about the Jaycee Trust Travelling Fellowship Scheme